Genetic Discrimination: Unfair or Natural?

Congress voted to ban genetic discrimination. But how much equality do we really want?

Matthias Kulka / Corbis

Illustration of DNA.

Last week, with little attention or fanfare, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 414 to 1 to outlaw genetic discrimination. The only dissenter was the irascible libertarian Ron Paul. The Senate passed the same bill unanimously, and President Bush is ready to sign it. The bill tells employers and insurance companies that they may not use the results of genetic tests in choosing their employees and customers. One purpose of the bill is to encourage genetic testing. But the more important reason for it is to uphold a sense of fairness. Just as the law forbids discrimination against a person because...

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