Following the preventative surgeries undergone by Angelina Jolie, many are considering an examination of their genetics.
Recently, Angelina Jolie made a public announcement of having made another decision to undergo surgery in order to protect herself against a high risk of certain cancers, following DNA tests that revealed her possibilities of the disease, but while many feel that this could be a good idea for them, as well, it may also bring unexpected insurance news.
Home DNA testing is suddenly increasing in popularity following the announcements made by the celebrity.
Jolie had previously had her breasts removed in order to greatly reduce her chances of experiencing breast cancer, and now she has also announced that her ovaries have been removed due to her high risk of ovarian cancer. She discovered these risks after having undergone DNA tests that revealed some of the risks that are associated with her genetics. This has encouraged many other people to consider taking a deeper look into their own hereditary disease risks. However, what many haven’t thought about is the insurance news that could be linked to whatever is discovered.
While the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. protects against bad insurance news from DNA tests, many other countries do not.
The United States and the United Kingdom have already taken action to include protection against DNA discrimination in their insurance industry laws. However, many other countries, such as Canada and Japan, do not have any legislation that would protect individuals from being required to disclose the results of their DNA tests to their insurance companies and their employers, for that matter. Though the Canadian government had promised to introduce this type of legislation in 2013, that country is still waiting those changes.
According to a Canadian senator, James Cowan, “Canada is one of the only countries in the western world that doesn’t have laws to protect the integrity of your genes.” Though the Senate in that country is currently considering a bill that addresses this insurance news subject, it recently dropped some of its central protections, such as banning any party from forcing an individual to either take a DNA test or reveal the results of one that has already been taken.