Outline the form and nature of genetic profiling and laws against it.

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justaguide eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Genetic information broadly refers to the results of tests performed to detect genotypes, mutations, or chromosomal changes. With advances in science in technology the genomes responsible for many ailments have been discovered. People can use information from genetic tests to determine whether they are likely to be affected by certain ailments that are known to be transmitted due to the presence or absence of certain genetic traits. Based on the information people can adopt lifestyle changes or the use of medicines which may reduce the severity of ailments or prevent them altogether.

Genetic information is very personal information and to prevent discrimination based on it a law called the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act was passed in 2008. This act is meant to save people from having to face discrimination at work and in obtaining medical insurance based on their genetic information.

Medical insurance providers cannot access the genetic information of applicants to identify the chances of their person acquiring certain ailments and charge different premiums. Also, employers cannot discriminate against their employees in any way if they gain access to their genetic information.