Bush pushes legislation to bar discrimination based on genetic testing

[JURIST] President Bush Wednesday urged Congress to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2007 [HR 493 text, PDF], promoting genetic testing for disease by making genetic discrimination illegal. In a speech [text] at the National Institutes of Health [official website], Bush said "If a person is willing to share his or her genetic information, it is important that that information not be exploited in improper ways - and Congress can pass good legislation to prevent that from happening. In other words, we want medical research to go forward without an individual fearing of personal discrimination."

Genetic nondiscrimination legislation was passed unanimously by the Senate in 2003 but failed in the House of Representatives. Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY) [official website] reintroduced the latest bill this week. If passed, it will establish "a national and uniform basic standard is necessary to fully protect the public from discrimination and allay their concerns about the potential for discrimination, thereby allowing individuals to take advantage of genetic testing , technologies, research, and new therapies." The New York Times has more.

 

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