Wednesday, May 21, 2008

GINA is now the law of the land

Finally! The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act has been signed into law. More info here, there, and everywhere. Oh, and here too.

2 comments:

DrPatrick said...

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.

Sue Trinidad said...

Yes, I agree, and as we've blogged here before, some of these other, non-health-related databases are already in existence (and plans are for them to get bigger). Hard to imagine that convergence, whether wholesale or case-by-case, will *not* occur. Moreover, though many people worry about the confidentiality of health-related genetic data, the same information may be retained by non-health entities that aren't subject to HIPAA or other kinds of regulatory requirements.