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American College of Medical Genetics Applauds the Passage of the Genetic Information and Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (GINA)
Date:4/24/2008

BETHESDA, Md., April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) enthusiastically applauds the Senate passage of HR 493, the Genetic Information and Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (GINA). This legislation provides vital federal protections against the misuse of genetic information in employment and insurance decisions. The bill, as introduced by Representatives Louise Slaughter and Judy Biggert, passed by an overwhelming 420-3 House vote last year. Senators Olympia Snowe and Edward Kennedy introduced a companion version of the bill, S 358, in the Senate last year. The bill will now return to the House before being sent to the President. "We hope the House will be expeditious in acting on the Senate-passed bill so that the President can sign it into a long-awaited law," says Michael S. Watson, PhD, FACMG, executive director of the American College of Medical Genetics.

"We believe that no American should have to choose between having a genetic test or participating in a research study that could be important to his or her life, or avoid a genetic test or furthering research to save a job or protect health insurance coverage," says Dr. Watson. "Fear of discrimination, prejudice or economic consequences should not be a factor in whether someone has a genetic test that could improve or save their lives."

"We are pleased that GINA will set a minimum standard of protection for all Americans, such that they will no longer be dependent on a highly variable patchwork of state laws," says ACMG President Joe Leigh Simpson, MD, FACMG, FACOG. "As the medical genetics professionals on the frontline, we at ACMG are aware that the American public perceives genetic discrimination as a very real problem. This fear has already had chilling effects on the public's willingness to seek genetic services and to participate in clinical investigation that will lead to better understanding and treating the genetic components of human disea
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SOURCE The American College of Medical Genetics
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