Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A little more about genetics testing

We didn't get to talk very much about genetics testing today in class but I had no idea that employers could even ask you to get tested for a genetic predisposition. So I decided to google it and I found a couple of useful sites. The first is kind of old, from around 1999 or 2000, but it's interesting because it's from when this kind of testing was just being introduced. The second is IBM's stance on the subject. They apparently have a policy against using genetic information against employees, which I think is good. A lot of information came up from around the time when this was first introduced but I couldn't find a lot of new information. So if you know more about it (Professor Prenkert) or if you just have an opinion please leave a comment.

3 Comments:

Blogger Professor Prenkert said...

Here's one source:

EEOC Policy Guideance on Genetic Testing in Federal Employment

7:27 PM  
Blogger Professor Prenkert said...

More information: Both the House and the Senate currently have pending bills that would prohibit the use of "genetic information" to be the basis of adverse employment actions (or adverse health insurance decisions). The employment section borrows the language of Title VII that we looked at in class today.

Here's a site with the text of Title II of the Senate version of the bill, dealing with the employment issues.

Here's a statement from the House Committee on Education and Labor on the House version.

11:43 PM  
Blogger mel said...

I personally feel very uncomfortable with the idea of genetic testing in general. I honestly don't know a ton about it, but I know that I would not want to know if I had a great chance of developing some debilitating disease when I am 40, or something like that. Information like that changes the way you live your life and the way that others would view you in your life. It doesn't seem that an extreme society such as the one in Brave New World (GREAT book if you haven't had a chance to read it) where Alphas, Betas, Deltas, and Epsilons are confined to a social caste system based on mental and physical abilities, would be too far away. If genetics testing became advanced enough, it could severely limit the scope of jobs and lifestyles that would be available to any one person. Although genetics testing might lead to greater efficiency, the idea seems against the very grain of what the United States has always tried to stand for - equal opportunity.

4:51 PM  

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