TheDouble-Edged Sword of Genetic Testing
TheGenetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) became signed withthe sole purpose of making genetic discrimination unlawful in thecontexts of health and employment insurance (Halbert & Ingulli,2014). However, the Act has been viewed to have problems, which arelikely to make it difficult for the Act to fully accomplish itspromises. The purpose of this report is to discuss the problems thatexist in GINA and how they can be resolved.
Oneof the problems lies in the insurance provisions. GINA fails toextend its coverage to disability, life, and long-term careinsurance, as well as other forms of protection which are basicallyrequired by people who are at peril for a genetic disorder. Besides,the protections offered by the law for health insurance do not spreadout to other medical conditions that have a genetic origin (Gunder &Martin, 2011). Another problem is that the provision fails to tacklethe coercive impacts that potential employers may apply on applicantsto offer pre-employment consent for the release of all medicalrecords that may have the content of genetic information.Furthermore, another problem associated with GINA is that it haslimitations when it comes to the monetary sanctions upon violation ofthe law since it cannot exceed $500,000 per violation (Gunder &Martin, 2011).
Inresolving the problems, the law needs to incorporate insuranceprotections that individuals, who are at the risk of any geneticdisorder, require. This would improve the insurance coverage offered.Also, the law should consider reviewing the monetary sanctionsprovided when there is a violation of the guideline. The maximumvalue per violation should be removed since in some cases thesanctions may go beyond the limit considering the costs associatedwith genetic disorders. Moreover, the Act needs to redefine howinformation obtained during pre-employment should be utilized toavoid discrimination.
Gunder,L. M., & Martin, S. A. (2011). Essentialsof medical genetics for health professionals.Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Halbert,T., & Ingulli, E. (2014). Lawand ethics in the business environment.New York: South-Western.