f_0015502_13582

f_0015502_13582 - Genomics, Insurance and Human Rights: Is...

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Genomics, Insurance and Human Rights: Is there a Place for Regulatory Frameworks in Africa? Vincent O. Nmehielle ……………. Abstract This article examines the human rights dimension of genetic discrimination in Africa, exploring the place of regulatory frameworks while taking into account the disadvantaged position of the average African. This is in response to the tendency of insurance companies toward making health insurance decisions on the basis of individual genetic information, which could result in genetic discrimination or health insurance discrimination based on a person’s genetic profile. The author considers such questions as the intersection between human rights (right to life, health, privacy, human dignity and against genetic discrimination) in relation to the insurance industry, as well as the obligations of state and non-state actors to promote, respect, and protect the enjoyment of these rights. The article argues that African nations should not stand aloof in trying to balance the competing interests (scientific, economic and social) presented by the use of genetic information in the health care context and that ultimately it is the responsibility of states to develop domestic policies to protect their most vulnerable citizens and to prevent entrenched private discrimination based on an individual’s genes. Associate Professor of Law, University of the Witwatersrand School of Law, Johannesburg, South Africa. Professor Nmehielle is currently on leave to the Special Court for Sierra Leone where he is the Principal Defender of the Special Court. He specializes in international human rights and comparative law. Cite as: 2 Afr. J. Legal Stud. 1 (2006) 20-34. ©2006 The Africa Law Institute. All rights reserved. The African Journal of Legal Studies (“AJLS”) is a free peer-reviewed and interdisciplinary journal published by The Africa Law Institute (“ALawI”). ALawI’s mission is to engage in policy-oriented research that promotes human rights, good governance, democracy and the rule of law in Africa. The views expressed in the articles and other contributions to the AJLS are those of the authors only, not of our Editorial or Consultative Boards or ALawI. To download or comment on current articles, sign-up for future issues or submit a manuscript, please visit < http://www.africalawinstitute.org/ajls > or e-mail [email protected] AJLS is also available on CIAO Net, HeinOnline, Lexis-Nexis, ProQuest, Quicklaw and Westlaw.
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2 Afr J Legal Stud 1 (2006) 20-34 I. Introduction The human genome project has been described as among the few scientific achievements that “are so momentous that they mark turning points in history.” 1 The turning point in this regard is the capacity that human beings have acquired “to document, and eventually alter, our own genetic blueprint” through science and technology. 2
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course POLS 595 taught by Professor Burk during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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f_0015502_13582 - Genomics, Insurance and Human Rights: Is...

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