Perdue on GINA
Just out: Abigail Lauren Perdue, Justifying GINA, 78 Tenn. L. Rev. 1051 (2011). From the introduction:
President George W. Bush provided the following justification for GINA during legislative debate regarding the Act:
Genetic discrimination is unfair to workers and their families. It is unjustified-among other reasons, because it involves little more than medical speculation. A genetic predisposition toward cancer or heart disease does not mean the condition will develop. To deny employment or insurance to a healthy person based only on a predisposition violates our country's belief in equal treatment and individual merit.Something had to be done, but was Title II of GINA the best solution?
This Article aims to answer that question by analyzing the new law and exploring the controversy surrounding its enactment. Section II provides a basic understanding of the genetic science at the heart of the GINA controversy and illustrates that, due to the exceptional nature of genetic information, genetic discrimination in employment is best addressed by genetic-specific legislation like GINA. Section III illustrates the existence of genetic discrimination in employment and demonstrates how the similarities between genetic discrimination, racism, and sexism support GINA's enactment. Section IV discusses how GINA strikes a balance between the competing interests regarding the use of genetic information and highlights countervailing employee concerns arising from the use of genetic testing in employment, such as worker autonomy and employees' fears of genetic stigmatization, medicalization, and discrimination. Finally, Section V suggests points to consider in future amendments to GINA and the promulgation or modification of GINA regulations.