Introduction and summary of public law

Introduction and summary of public law - Introduction...

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Introduction Genetic testing has opened new opportunities in medicine. It allows us to cure the illness often before the symptoms occur. The knowledge about genetics may also allow us to create a treatment with fewer side effects or better therapies. However, the misuse of it led to the discrimination in health insurance and employment. When the science about genetics has been found, the State laws used it for sterilization of persons having presumed genetic “defects” such as mental retardation, mental disease, epilepsy, blindness, and hearing loss, and so on. In 1907 the State of Indiana passed the first sterilization law, and in order to “correct” apparent genetic traits or tendencies, majority of States accepted this law by 1981. Since then, many of these State laws have been cancelled, and some of them have been modified in order to include the constitutional requirements of due process and equal protection. And because of the current explosion in the science of genetics and the sterilization laws, Congressional action has been taken place in this area. In addition, members of a particular group have been discriminated due to genetic information because some genetic traits are most common in some of the ethnic and racial groups. In 1970s, this form of discrimination has been found during screening programs and identifying carriers of sickle cell anemia, which is a disease that African-Americans suffered from. And because of it, all African-Americans were objects of genetic screening which lead to discrimination and unnecessary fear. Therefore, in order to fight the discrimination, in 1972 the Congress passed the National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act, which cuts Federal funding from States unless sickle cell testing is voluntary.
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Genetic discrimination has also been found in the workplace. The example of it was in the case of Norman-Bloodsaw vs. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, particularly, the use of
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2010 for the course BUS 1553 taught by Professor Houston during the Spring '10 term at University of Colorado Denver.

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Introduction and summary of public law - Introduction...

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