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Genetic Screening and Genetic Discrimination by Insurance Companies

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Genetic screening has been a subject of debate for quite some time now. Beginning in the 1990s, when it became prevalent owing to the increasing research into the cause of diseases (Chadwick, 1). Screening brought advantages— the chance to see what diseases or cancers one may be at risk for, an opportunity to take a glimpse inside of one’s personal genome (Tree.com). However, as genetic screening became more and more common, it brought with it just as many disadvantages. Genetic screening found its way into corporate boardrooms and insurance companies, creating large amounts of discrimination against employees where genetic make-up revealed a disposition to certain diseases. Despite acts prohibiting genetic discrimination, such as the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), insurance companies today still use results from genetic screening tests to deny people medical coverage that they need (Hill). Insurance companies should not be permitted to use genetic screening in their application process as it creates discrimination against the individual as well as entire races, and the information is not reliable.

Genetic screening is a process created in the 1990s, which allowed anyone to have his or her genome mapped out and carefully studied for signs of hereditary diseases and cancer. Typically, it is used to detect only recessive or heterozygote diseases such as Tay Sachs Disease and Cystic Fibrosis, and today is applied to predisposition testing for multifactorial diseases of larger populations (Chadwick, 1). Most commonly, the DNA is taken from blood samples or a mouth swab and is then sent to a lab which takes apart the person’s genetic information and records it letter for letter. Today, five diffe...

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