Supreme Court of Canada upholds Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, rules the law is constitutional. The law prevents 3rd parties, such as employers and insurance companies, from demanding genetic information from individuals. Previous story.
Canada's highest court has issued a ruling today upholding a federal law preventing third parties, such as employers and insurance companies, from demanding genetic information from individuals.
The legislation amended the Canadian Labour Code and Canadian Human Rights Act. It introduced the first nationwide penalties against genetic discrimination, including a fine of up to $1 million and/or imprisonment for five years.
The law includes exceptions for medical, pharmaceutical and scientific purposes.
“Nobody should be discriminated against because of their DNA, because of their chromosomal makeup,” said Liberal MP Rob Oliphant of Don Valley West, Ont., who sponsored the legislation in the House of Commons.
Oliphant said he and Cowan were encouraged to introduce the legislation by geneticists at SickKids hospital in Toronto who reported that parents were choosing not to have genetic tests done for fear of future repercussions for employment and insurance eligibility.