Supreme Court decision on genetics law missed a critical opportunity to hold Parliament more accountable
Discussion posted by: Arye ben-Shaoul
Many have welcomed the Supreme Court’s recent decision allowing the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GNDA) to stand. However, the way that the Court reached its decision to uphold the law raises real concerns. The GNDA, a federal law, bans people from forcing others to take a genetic test or share their genetic test results when providing goods or services, or when entering into contracts. Insurance and employment are two examples where the law applies. People must give consent before their genetic test results can be used in these situations. The goal of the law was laudable. Making decisions about people based on their genetics may be discriminatory. Plus, our likelihood to develop certain health conditions is partly influenced by our genes, and knowing these genetic risks enables us to prevent or to prepare for them.