Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) Nears Unanimous Consent Passage in U.S. Senate

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) Nears Unanimous Consent Passage in U.S. Senate

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted April 23, 2008 in DNA and the Law

us capitolAbout an hour ago, Sharon Terry of Genetic Alliance sent out an email regarding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Here’s an excerpt:

OK all – unbelievable as it is, GINA is all set for UC [unanimous consent] passage in the Senate!!!

There is not time today to do the roll call vote, so the big day is tomorrow. The Senate convenes at 10 AM, but we do not know what time the Bill will come up.

GINA was first proposed in 1995 by Louise Slaughter, a House Democrat from western New York. According to the New York Times, if the bill is brought to the Senate floor tomorrow, debate would be limited to two hours with one amendment to address the possibility of employers being sued.

Under GINA:

Life and long-term care insurance coverages, however, are not part of GINA.

For more information, visit Coalition for Genetic Fairness.

Update (24 April 2008): GINA passed the Senate by unanimous consent of 95-0. Now it will be sent to President Bush so that he can sign the measure into law.

(4 comments)


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4 Comments

 
Comment by jhay

This is great news. If this will get passed in the US Senate it will set a model for other countries to follow and improve upon.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed! :D

 

[...] Eye on DNA – GINA Nears Unanimous Consent Passage in U.S. Senate [...]

 
Comment by drpatrick

These regulations are a good idea, but there still seems to be some holes in the new laws. For instance, health information is not the only thing you can get from your DNA:

http://dnatestingguides.com/2008/05/what-is-dna-testing/

For example with the wholesale collection of DNA the government, or any company that so wished, could compile a DNA fingerprint database or trace your ancestry.
It’s not clear how the new regulations would apply to this. Perhaps the best way to stop companies/governments abusing genetic information, is to not only protect the information, but not let them have it in the first place.

 

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