Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

This act prohibits discrimination in groups health plan coverage based on genetic information.

  • GINA: Fact Sheet (National Human Genome Research Institute)
    Genetic discrimination occurs if people are treated unfairly because of differences in their DNA that increase their chances of getting a certain disease. For example, a health insurer might refuse to give coverage to a woman who has a DNA difference that raises her odds of getting breast cancer. Employers also could use DNA information to decide whether to hire or fire workers.

  • GINA: Legislative History (National Human Genome Research Institute)
    The President has signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that will protect Americans against discrimination based on their genetic information when it comes to health insurance and employment. The bill had passed the Senate unanimously and the House by a vote of 414 to 1. The long-awaited measure, which has been debated in Congress for 13 years, will pave the way for people to take full advantage of the promise of personalized medicine without fear of discrimination.

  • H.R. 493 - Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (National Human Genome Research Institute) April 25, 2007. The mapping of the human genome has led to more information about diseases and a better understanding of our genetic code. Scientists are pursuing new diagnostics, treatments, and cures based on this information, but the potential misuse of this information raises serious moral and legal issues. Concern about unwarranted use of genetic information threatens the utilization of existing genetic tests as well as the ability to conduct further research.

  • GINA - A big step toward personalized medicine (Mass High Tech) August 22, 2008.
    The human genome project has led to many major advances in the field of human genetics. Genetic mutations associated with cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many more have been found. Clinical tests are available to determine whether an individual is a carrier of such a mutation and thus at risk for developing the associated disease.

  • Genetic Protections Skimp on Privacy, Says Gene Tester (Wired) May 23, 2008.
    The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, signed into law this week by President Bush, is widely hailed as civil rights legislation for the genetic age. But no bill is perfect, and GINA is no exception.

  • Genetic Discrimination by Insurers, Employers Becomes a Crime (Wired) May 21, 2008.
    If you ever worried that information from a genetic test might be used to deny you a job, insurance or entrance to an elite training school for genetically-engineered astronauts, you can breathe a little easier now. After a decade of false starts, dead ends and back-room squabbles, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was signed into law by President Bush today. In a nutshell, it prevents employers and insurers from using genetic data against you.