Genetic information: important but not "exceptional"

Stirton, Ruth Hannah (2010) Genetic information: important but not "exceptional". Identity in the Information Society, 3. pp. 457-472. ISSN 1876-0678

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Much legislation dealing with the uses of genetic information could be criticised for exceptionalising genetic information over other types of information personal to the individual. This paper contends that genetic exceptionalism clouds the issues, and precludes any real debate about the appropriate uses of genetic information. An alternative to “genetically exceptionalist” legislation is to “legislate for fairness”. This paper explores the “legislating for fairness” approach, and concludes that it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of both how legislation is drafted, and how it is interpreted. The uncomfortable conclusion is this: policy-makers and legislators must tackle head-on the difficult policy questions concerning what should and should not be done with genetic information. Only by confronting this crucial issue will they achieve a workable legislative solution to the problems caused by genetic information.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Genetic information. Genetic exceptionalism. Insurance. Legislation. Law . Ethics
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law
K Law > KD Law of the United Kingdom and Ireland
Depositing User: Ruth Stirton
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 16:05
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2019 16:15

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