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Genetic Discrimination Bill Closer To Passing August 25, 2011

Posted by Metabiological in Transhumanism.
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Little late on this one but worth re-posting nonetheless.

The California State Senate has passed a bill that would provide broader protections from genetic discrimination than does the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008, by extending into areas such as life insurance, housing, and employment.

Following closely after the State Assembly, which approved the bill late last week, the Senate passed State Sen. Alex Padilla’s (D – Pacoima) SB 559 bill on a (24 – 10) vote.

If it is signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill would amend two anti-discrimination laws already on the California books to prohibit genetic discrimination in the areas of health and life insurance coverage, housing, mortgage lending, employment, education, public accommodations, and elections.

A good bill and one that will likely become important in ways it’s backers haven’t even thought about in the near future.  The legislators obviously are thinking of issues like preventing health insurance companies from labeling genetic problems a “pre-existing condition” or employers discriminating based on genomic data a la Gattaca.

That being said I do wonder what effect this will have once genetic engineering starts to become more common place.  I haven’t read the bill and I’m not a lawyer so I can’t say that it isn’t worded in such a way to consider “modifications” to genetic code an exception to the rule.  I certainly hope not.