Rescheduled: Rep. Slaughter to Speak on New Genetic Nondiscrimination Law

January 22, 2009

U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter will hold a talk on Friday, January 30 at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) on the topic of genetic discrimination in health care.  

Rep. Slaughter is one of the authors of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. The new law provides comprehensive protection against all forms of genetic discrimination, helping patients feel more comfortable about participating in genetic tests.  The fear that genetic information could be misused by employers or health insurance providers has been cited as a key barrier to participation in biomedical research and the development of new technologies in fields such as personalized health care. 

“Rep. Slaughter has been a tireless champion of this issue since it was first introduced 13 years ago and should be commended for her leadership and resolve in getting this legislation enacted into law,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of URMC. “Her landmark legislation will make genomic and proteomic research much more feasible at institutions such as the University of Rochester.”

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits group health plans and health insurers from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to a healthy individual based solely on a genetic predisposition to developing a disease in the future. The legislation also bars employers from using an individuals’ genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion decisions.

The event is a part of a series of talks at URMC titled Public Health Grand Rounds, which is sponsored by the Center for Community Health and Department of Community and Preventive Medicine. The talk will be held on Friday, January 30 from 12:00 to 1:00 PM in the Class of ’62 Auditorium at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. The event is free and open to the public and the media.

For more information contact Sheila K. McCart at Sheila_mccart@urmc.rochester.edu.

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