Genetic traits are already being used as selection criteria for some jobs, but do we really want DNA test results on our resumes?
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Employees who decline genetic testing could face penalties under proposed bill
“Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law. In general, employers don’t have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday (March 8th) by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce would allow employers to get around those obstacles if the information is collected as part of a workplace wellness program.”
Privacy in Genomics
“When conducting genomics research, two essential values of science research need to be balanced – the need to share data broadly to maximize its utility for ongoing scientific exploration, and the need to protect research participants’ privacy. Achieving the right balance is particularly challenging for genomic data since each person’s DNA sequence is unique (with the exception of identical twins) and a DNA sample therefore can never be made truly anonymized.”
U.S. military practices genetic discrimination in denying benefits
“Eric Miller’s career as an Army Ranger wasn’t ended by a battlefield wound, but his DNA. Lurking in his genes was a mutation that made him vulnerable to uncontrolled tumor growth. After suffering back pain during a tour in Afghanistan, he underwent three surgeries to remove tumors from his brain and spine that left him with numbness throughout the left side of his body… Because he was born with the mutation, the Army argued it bore no responsibility for his illness and medically discharged him in 2005 without the disability benefits or health insurance he needed to fight his disease.”
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Special thanks to Crystal Dilworth for hosting and writing this episode of Seeker!
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