Why a “brave new world” should be outlawed

I’ve been travelling recently and decided, as a good internet addict, to explore other sources of information in the web.

Browsing in digg’s top news I came upon this interesting article published in Arstechnica.com by the John Timmer.

Thought provoking to say the least:

Insurance based on genetics: a questionable proposition
by John Timmer

Last week, the US Senate passed a bill that would bar employers and insurance providers from considering the results of a person’s genetic tests when making hiring or coverage decisions. The House has passed a similar bill and the Bush administration has indicated it would sign legislation of this sort. In the wake of the bill’s passage, however, a number of people have questioned why it shouldn’t be an employer’s or insurer’s right to make decisions based on genetics. As a matter of policy, these questions were answered a decade ago, and the intervening progress in human genetics has only reinforced some of the reasoning of the initial decision.

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There are a whole host of reasons to be leery of decisions based on genetic factors, including the fact that some factors are more prevalent within some ethnic groups, raising the specter that genetics may serve as a rationale for some forms of racism. But the most powerful argument is that any genetic policies will be extremely difficult to do well and, even if done properly, could still get things wrong. Combine that with the potential for genetic-based decision making to inhibit the use of our new-found knowledge, and there is a potential for harm that could arise from policies such as the ones that may soon be outlawed.

To read the whole article please go here.