“The promise of genetic research finally may be realized in this country now that the Senate has approved the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, because the House has agreed to consider the Senate bill early next week and President Bush has vowed to sign it into law. This day is most welcome and long overdue.
At long last, we are on the brink of establishing federal standards that will protect the privacy of genetic information, and prohibit discrimination in both the workplace and insurance based on genetic test results.
Genetic testing holds enormous promise. It can detect a predisposition to numerous diseases including diabetes and certain cancers, where prevention can be effective. But until now, Americans have been forced to choose between being tested to learn whether they need the preventive care that can improve their health or even save their lives, or avoiding the test for fear that their genetic information will cost them the jobs and insurance they need.
Now that the Senate has passed this legislation, and the House is poised to do the same, Americans should be able to realize the full benefits of genetic testing very soon. President Bush should waste no time in signing this bill into law.”