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Australians need more protection against genetic discrimination: health experts

Authors: Jane Tiller and Paul Lacaze

Published: October 5, 2021

Source: The Conversation

 

Excerpt:

Genomic testing — the ability to read an individual’s genetic code and identify their risk of conditions such as cancer — has opened up huge possibilities in personalised medicine.

But it has also introduced serious ethical challenges. Particularly, there is the danger of life insurance companies using such information to discriminate against those at higher risk of conditions.

Canada, Britain and most European countries have already banned or restricted life insurers from using genetic test results.

Australia’s response so far has been mostly to leave it to industry self-regulation. But our research suggests most health professionals don’t think this is enough. More than 90% of the experts we surveyed agreed more government oversight is required.

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