Genetic profiling has become a major issue and concern in all industries.
Testing of genetic material is performed on: urine, blood, saliva, hair, stool, body tissues and bone.
Cells in these samples are isolated and the DNA within them is extracted and examined for possible mutations or alterations. Looking at small portions of the DNA is done to pinpoint the exact location of genetic errors.
Genetic testing can provide definitive diagnosis as well as help predict the odds of developing a particular disease before symptoms even appear.
It can tell if a person is carrying a specific gene that could be passed on to his or her children.
Finding updated facts on genetic profiling is very limited, however here is some information from the past.
Advances in information technology, while beneficial to improving daily life, have also proven to be a boom for government and private entities. And in each case of informational abuse, the cause of defending privacy seems to be increasingly a losing proposition.
Among the abuses documented recently by the ACLU:
Two-hundred and six cases of genetic discrimination against asymptomatic individuals were documented in a 1996 study conducted by Harvard and Stanford universities. The individuals involved suffered loss of employment, loss of insurance coverage, or ineligibility for insurance based on the genetic potential for disease--not on any current maladies or symptoms.
In another survey, conducted jointly by several federal agencies, 550 people were found to have been denied jobs or health insurance due to genetic predisposition to certain illnesses. Nearly a third (31 percent) of members of families with inherited diseases were found to have been denied insurance coverage even though they displayed no symptoms, in a survey cited in congressional testimony by the director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins. It is safe to assume that there are numerous other cases, unrecorded, of people unaware of the reasons they were not hired, were fired, and so on.
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS ARE BELOW !
Legislation on Genetic Discrimination
GENETIC DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE FACT SHEET
Woman With Breast Cancer Gene Files First Genetic Discrimination Lawsuit In U.S.
Genetic Information and the Workplace
EEOC vs. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad
The National Workrights Institute: Issue: Genetic Discrimination
FACT: There are about 900 genetic tests being offered by diagnostic laboratories
Obviously, genetic profiling is a real and growing problem.