You probably know your medical history better than anyone else. How about what is in your gene pool? Given the current advancements in gene technology doctors will soon be able to take a drop of your blood and lay out the odds of you getting a variety of diseases years ahead of you ever developing a cough, shake or symptom. A double edge sword if ever there was one.
Double edged because you’re medical records have always been private, or at least they have thought to have been. After all that is why we go to such great lengths to protect our medical information. But with this new technology will come new demands for testing and right now the groundwork is being laid for what can be done with those results. It appears that, Congress is about to help you stay a bit more private for a while longer.
In a bill that is sponsored by both Dems and Repubs, your gene pool information is going to be considered private now. Put that in another I thought it was, file. Obviously it isn’t. He who pays for the test, often gets the results first. If you company can fire you because they have a no smoking anytime policy you can be sure if they say we are now testing everyone for Parkinson’s, they will want to use that information.
Granted many have gone on the internet to chit and chat with others and discuss their problems, only to have insurance companies later deny those claims or coverage because of pre-existing conditions. But this is far greater than that. Let’s face it; your genes and your blood are the original pre-existing condition. You have had them since the start. Imagine a world where insurance companies can deny you coverage because of what might happen? Hmmm, sounds like the reason you buy insurance in the first place!
What insurance company wouldn’t like to better their odds of you paying a life time for something they know you are not going to get! And which one do you think will cover something that they think you got a pretty good chance of getting? Yeah right. Try buying that kind of coverage.
So our Congress in an act of humanity and get this, the President says he will sign this bill is making it illegal to use gene testing information you obtain either privately or at work to be used against you. Companies will not be allowed to discriminate against you because of what someone might find in your genes. We are reminded that no one accordingly has been discriminated by a company because of what is in their gene pool. But I have yet to see an application for insurance that doesn’t ask for a family history.
Given the propensity of gene testing however that is going to available to us all in the next few years however, a family history may soon be as obsolete as bloodletting.