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Debate rages on genetic discrimination

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Paul Lucas | 22 Feb 2016, 08:15 AM Agree 0
Parliamentary hearings begin in Ottawa which could have huge impact on insurance industry
  • Bruce | 22 Feb 2016, 01:00 PM Agree 0
    insurance is by definition, discriminatory. Older? Male? Smoker? you pay more, even got bad family history? you pay more. Genetic testing is no different, if you know, the potential insurer needs to know to, to keep rates fair for all. So buy insurance first, then get tested.
  • Dave | 22 Feb 2016, 02:25 PM Agree 0
    If the individual has the test and the knowledge of the result, so should the insurer. That is only fair as with any other test or health condition. Both parties must have equal information. Beyond that the slope gets slippery fast. REQUIRING Genetic tests and using that to rate risk seems a bit excessive and another example that insurers no longer want to be in the "insurance/risk" business but instead want to be in the "financial services/bank" industry. That is not good for anyone.
  • Nickster | 22 Feb 2016, 03:10 PM Agree 0
    There is a difference between established risk in terms of lifestyle choices, age and gender vs genes. Many people have a particular gene, and the fact that they have it does not mean they will get whatever has been attributed from the presence of that gene. However if one in ten smokers die of lung cancer, then smoking adds a layer of risk which should not be put on the backs of those who have chosen not to smoke or for that matter, do whatever other risky behavior, like drink a 26er of liquor a night. It is also a known fact that the mortality rate of 15 year olds is much better than the mortality rate of 80 year olds--ergo it is not about discrimination when it is applied to all within that age group and gender. Why should a 25 year old pay the difference for the risk of an 80 year old? Or a child for that matter? When by virtue of age, the younger person will probably live longer than the eighty year old, and therefore pay for the same bit of insurance for the rest of their lives. And if males have a lower risk by gender, then why should they pay the same as females of the same age?
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