Who's Watching Your Genes.
Protection From Ourselves continued...
Hudson notes that in 1997, the National Human Genome Research Institute issued guidelines on the use of genetic information in the workplace that have aided the formulation of laws at the state and federal level. Those guidelines state that employers should be:
- prohibited from using genetic information in hiring or determination of benefits;
- prohibited from requesting or requiring collection of disclosure of genetic information;
- restricted from access to genetic information in medical records; and
- prohibited from releasing genetic information without prior written authorization of the individual employee.
"In considering whether to take a genetic test, people need to think very carefully about how that information will affect their lives," Hudson tells WebMD. "They need to think about who will have access to it, and how it may be used. All of those topics are worthy of extensive conversation between an individual patient and his or her healthcare provider."
Today, David Escher is back at work repairing tracks after successful surgery in January. Though he has regained the feeling and strength in his hands, he says he has lost much faith in the company for which he has labored for 25 years. "I wouldn't trust them if they told me the sun came up in the east," he says. "It just makes you wonder what else they have been doing all these years."