Briefcase

Genetic Nondiscrimination Laws

Guest: Dr. Stephen Spann

Doctors are ordering genetic testing more often. However, the results may lead to fear of discrimination. Dr. Stephen Spann is the founding Dean for UH College of Medicine and discusses whether patients are protected against discrimination based on genetic predispositions.

"The genetic information nondiscrimination act, or GINA, stops employers from making employment decisions such as hiring, firing and promoting based on genetics," Dr. Spann said. "It also prevents group health and Medicare supplemental plans from using genetic information to discriminate against patients."

Dr. Spann also claims employers cannot obtain genetic data in other ways. "GINA restricts employers from purchasing genetic information and prohibits federal government agencies from obtaining genetic information from employees or job applicants," he said.

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