Katelyn Fisher


A person’s genetic information tells a detailed story of what someone looks like, who her relatives are, and even what illnesses she may develop. This information, as enlightening as it may be, can be especially damaging when utilized in a discriminatory way. This Note explores how the protections under the Genetic Non Discrimination Act of 2008 will no longer be sufficient for protecting individuals from genetic discrimination as the use of genetic information becomes more commonplace. The questions become: Where do we start? How and where should protections that extend to circumstances not covered by GINA be created in a way that results in comprehensive protections against genetic discrimination? This Note proposes that an effective way to achieve comprehensive protection is through incremental change in genetic anti-discrimination law at the state level before legislative change is attempted at the federal level. It argues that experimentation in the laws at the state level will allow for thorough and meaningful protections by allowing the concerns regarding genetic discrimination in the individual states to catalyze their legislative responses and will allow the states to learn from other states in determining effective paths for its own genetic non-discrimination legislation. Finally, this Note will explore potential legal frameworks that states could use as a model for genetic anti-discrimination legislation.



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