Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to Hank Greely, a Stanford law professor who focuses on the ethics behind new technologies related to neuroscience and genetics, there are a lot of factors to consider when determining whether an insurance company could discriminate against you based on your genetic information. We have all checked the box that says, “I have read, understand and agree to the following 47 pages of the latest Microsoft Word update,” despite never reading it. Brierley KL, Blouch E and Cogswell W (2012) Adverse events in cancer genetic testing: Medical, Ethical, Legal and Financial Implications. In particular, knowledge of risk of disease may be used by health insurance providers and employers to deny individuals employment , benefits and allowances and medical coverage or health insurance. There’s been a lot of pushback on whether this Enbrel association actually makes any sense or not and one thing you learn when you hang around medicine long enough is all sorts of things are associated with all sorts of other things, sometimes purely by chance or for reasons that don’t have any particular causal connection. That will include genetic information and health information, which, thanks to electronic medical records, is more widely available than you would like. Race and sex discrimination in employment have been illegal since 1964 and I believe they still occur from time-to-time. Single gene testing. I could see the people I match, how we might be related and compare our chromosomes. A firm called Helix acts like an "app store" platform that gives third-party software developers access to parts of customers' DNA data for apps and personalized services that consumers opt into separately. I wish they had made it public sooner. Ownership of Genetic Information What happens to your genetic information once you’ve obtained your results from a genetic test or after you have completed a research study? Can You Change the Course of Your Genetic Risk for Alzheimer’s. I did get a breakdown of how different groups — Stone Age hunter-gatherers, early farmers and “Metal Age Invaders” from the Eurasian steppes — contributed to my DNA. We all share DNA with 24 other descendants of Samuel Pickerill, a drummer during the Revolutionary War. Questions? Hank Greely: For kids, unless there’s some specific symptom or other reason to be worried that they’ve got something that will affect them before they’re 18, wait until 18 and let them make their own decision. Also, I want to add something that really doesn’t have to do with the law at all. Driving the news: This month FamilyTreeDNA came under fire for voluntarily giving the FBI routine access to its database of more than 1 million users' data, allowing agents to test DNA samples from crime scenes against customers' genetic information to look for family matches. After learning more about genetic testing, you might decide it’s not right for you. Some are broader, some are narrower, but none of them have really been tested. Hank Greely: The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits health insurance companies from either asking you about it or acting on it. My wife, whose mother died of dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s, was interested and has gotten that information on her own. Above this figure, insurers are allowed to use genetic tests sanctioned by a government advisory committee, but to date only Huntington's Disease testing has been permitted. The biggest is the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, passed by Congress about 12 years ago. A family-and-friends scoreboard shows where you stack up. There’re a lot of ways to predict future diseases including Alzheimer’s. The approach to genetic testing is individualized based on your medical and family history and what condition you’re being tested for. Editorially independent, supported by our community. Of the three countries studied, the United Kingdom had the most comprehensive protection against insurer use of genetic information.

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