:: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 ::
Genetic Information and Healthcare
CNN.com's got a article on how genetic information, while helpful, creates privacy headaches for doctors, especially when dealing with genetic disorders. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't: tell the relatives that they may have the disorder and violate HIPPA (and get sued, fined, and put in jail), or keep the patient's genetic information private and withhold that information, opening one's self to malpractice lawsuits.
Part of this whole privacy bit is the concern that insurance companies would use said info to discriminate against those with disorders, even those with only partial penetrance. Since insurance people can be a scientifically ignorant lot (who don't know when to shut up and listen to the doctors) I can understand the fear. However, if our country were to have a single-payer health care system - with that single-payer being the Federal government, such discrimination issues would be moot. If everyone gets the same healthcare, who cares what one's genetic information has on it. Remember, the US is the ONLY developed nation without single-payer health care - we're behind the curve on this one.
:: The Squire 7:40 PM :: email this post :: ::