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Senate approves ban on genetic discrimination

[JURIST] Citing a need for additional protections in light of advances in understanding the human genetic code, the Senate on Thursday unanimously approved the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2005 [PDF text] aimed at preventing employers and health insurers from discriminating against people who have a genetic predisposition to disease. Employers will be barred from basing hiring and firing decisions on genetic risk or predisposition to disease, while health insurers will not be permitted to deny coverage based on genetic information. The bill, which also has the backing of the White House, is opposed by business interests and the US Chamber of Commerce [official website]; however, bill sponsors in the House are optimistic that the bill will pass thanks to bipartisan support, despite resistance from a small group of members. Reuters has more.

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