The Specter of Genetic Discrimination


By Mark Antony Rossi

 The specter of genetic discrimination is about to become a reality with the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP). HGP by mapping all the genes in the human body holds great promise in developing better treatments to ease the suffering of victims of untreatable or incurable diseases.

 But there is a dark side to this technology and it is called: genetic discrimination.

 Once corporations and insurance agencies have access to genetic testing protocols and data millions of people will be denied insurance for diseases they have yet to realize until 30 to 40 years later in their lives. This new form of pre-existing condition aided by genetic testing will fuel a wave of genetic discrimination affecting millions of lives. Estimates range from 35 to 60 million citizens of the United States alone denied medical insurance. On the international level this number could easily rise into 1 billion inhabitants of the planet.

 In the near future a fetus will be tested for genetic purity and thousands denied medical coverage before they are born into this world. This genetic scarlet letter will follow them the rest of their natural lives. Workers will be denied promotions, advancement or special assignments due to a genetic file that indicates your future medical outlook. Thousands of potential employees will be denied hiring due to genetic factors deemed burdensome to corporations enslaved to the bottom line. These genetic factors will have nothing to do with their qualifications for a job, promotion, advancement, or other work-related opportunities. Genetic testing is bound to become a high-tech excuse to save money by cutting off employees before expensive retirement plans and medical insurance is established.

 In the United States there are no laws against genetic discrimination. One measure HR 2457 never even reached the Congressional floor for a vote. According to the most recent information gathered not a single country on the planet has a law in place preventing genetic discrimination. People of good will must stand up and contact their government representatives about banning this future practice of genetic discrimination. Matters of racial or religious discrimination will pale in comparison to the toll taken on entire societies if genetic testing and the resulting discrimination is allowed to wreak havoc on lives and economies.

 ACT NOW!! Contact your local representative about passing a law against genetic discrimination. No company or insurance entity should be permitted to use genetic testing as a means to enrollment or employment. The specter of genetic discrimination will become a reality if people ignore technologies absent of ethical or moral consideration. Act now, before they do and gene edit your future into a familiar mold of their choosing.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.

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