President Bush enacted a law that protects patients from discrimination based on genetic information.
Jewish groups, including Hadassah and United Jewish Communities, the federations’ umbrella, had led lobbying for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, signed into law on May 21.
The bill bans health providers from refusing service because of genetic mutations and bans employers from discriminating on the basis of such disorders. Fears of such discrimination have kept many Americans from being tested for such mutations, inhibiting research.
“GINA represents proper public policy that is keeping pace with the rapidly evolving area of genetics research,” a Hadassah statement said. “With the mapping of the human genome, we are now in an era that holds unprecedented promise for treating and curing disease.”