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The human genome project, predictive testing and insurance contracts: Ethical and legal responses

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Conclusion

The economic costs to the insurers of complementary routine genetic testing would outweigh the benefits. However, should testing technology in future be refined so as to produce a cheap and reliable test, there is no reason why insurers might not take up predictive testing as part of the normal underwriting process. It is this possibility which justifies formulating a pre-emptive policy. At the very least, there are reasons for promoting and protecting the welfare of the proposer so as to redress the bargaining positions between him or her as a consumer of a service and the insurer as a commercial concern. Further considerations relate to the social purpose of insurance as a social mechanism, and the need to find ways of avoiding undermining this in light of Human Genome Project.

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Chadwick, R., Ngwena, C. The human genome project, predictive testing and insurance contracts: Ethical and legal responses. Res Publica 1, 115–129 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01113136

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Keywords

  • Human Genome
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genome Project
  • Economic Cost
  • Reliable Test