California Genetics Law Passed

- Paul Billings, M.D., Ph.D.,

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA

Eubios Ethics Institute Newsletter 4 (November, 1994) 80.
Californian law prohibits genetic discrimination, Nature 371 (1994), 468.

With the signing on 23 September by Pete Wilson of SB 1146, a three year legislative process in California draws to a close. The most populous state in this union now has a law which in principle will protect citizens from a major adverse consequence of seeking personal genetic information--the loss of health care. Because of this, the environment for gaining medical benefits from developing and applying genetic approaches to disease is enhanced. The result of a genetic test is not a "pre-existing condition" and the proper basis for a health insurance exclusion in this state any longer. I am hopeful that this will be an important contribution to the genetic revolution and biotechnology age.

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