Genetic testing can be used to diagnose disease as well as to access screening and available targeted treatments. Genetic testing is one of the promising options in the prevention and treatment of hereditary or genetic diseases (cancers, cardiovascular diseases, rare diseases, etc.). However, many people with a personal or family history of factors possibly associated with a genetic condition do not wish to perform a genetic test for fear of being denied access to insurance or losing some benefits in their professional life.
Good news! On July 10, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, originally passed in Canada on May 4, 2017.
This is a great victory for people with a genetic disease or who have one or more genes that increase their risk of developing one. The validation of this law means that an employer, insurer or company cannot discriminate against you based on a genetic test you performed. For more details, you can read this summary document from the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors.
Following the legislation’s approval, federal Justice Minister David Lametti said: ” Those who choose to undergo genetic testing must have confidence their privacy will be respected and that the sensitive information they obtain will not be used to discriminate against in them in any capacity. All governments have a responsibility to protect Canadians from this kind of discrimination within their respective jurisdictions.”
Described as the key to precision medicine by Liberal Senator James Cowan, genetics is gaining popularity in order to know the risks of developing or transmitting a hereditary condition. This approach identifies risks, provides access to targeted screening and specific treatments to achieve better results. Therefore, a person must have the right to consider disease prevention by using options available on the market without being penalized.
Genolife invites you to talk to our genetic counsellors to learn how they can help you evaluate your risks and determine if the option of genetic screening might be appropriate for your situation.
The first call is free!