Saturday, June 7, 2008

GINA, The Good News: Engaging the Public

This is the third post in a series of posts in which I share what I see as the ups and downs of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA or H.R. 493). In this post I address a potential positive:

A little discussed portion of GINA may be cause for celebration. Title II, Section 208, Subsection (b) of GINA calls for the establishment of the Genetic Nondiscrimination Study Commission after GINA has been enacted for six years. The purpose of the Commission is to evaluate the status of genetic science, genetic discrimination, public perception, and other factors, and to make recommendations to Congress regarding possible future legislation. Here, it would seem as though Congress has exercised a reasonable amount of foresight. Scientific knowledge is expanding at an amazing rate; faster than society and its laws can react, resulting in public fear and apprehension. Public fears are important and they must be listened to; public fears shouldn't always determine legislative action, but they cannot be brushed aside or ignored. In this case, Congress seemed to understand this dichotomy. They did the research. They listened to experts, and they acted. – Sam Beasley

No comments: