European Journal of Law Reform

Article

Regulating Genetic Discrimination in the European Union

Pushing the EU into Unchartered Territory or Ushering in a New Genomic Era?

Keywords genetics, regulation, discrimination, data protection, European Union
Authors Aisling de Paor en Delia Ferri
Author's information

Aisling de Paor
BCL, LLM, PhD, Solicitor (Law Society of Ireland) – Lecturer in Law, Dublin City University.

Delia Ferri
LLM, PhD in European and Italian constitutional law, Attorney at Law registered at the Verona Bar (Italy) – Lecturer in Law, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
  • Abstract

      Against the backdrop of rapid developments in genetic science and technology, one of the main concerns arising in this area is the potential use of genetic testing to discriminate, especially in the employment and insurance contexts. Employers and insurance companies may use the results of genetic tests to discriminate (primarily for economic advantage), based on perceptions of future health risks or future disabilities. This article explores the scope for an EU to effectively address genetic discrimination and the misuse of genetic information. It first provides a theoretical overview of the choice of regulatory frameworks. It then examines the scope and protection of current non- discrimination laws in the EU and investigates the possibility of an EU level response to address the misuse of genetic information.

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