The Council of Europe opposed to genetic discrimination


At the end of October, the Council of Europe adopted a Recommandation that aims at banning genetic testing for insurance purposes. Through this text, the Council of Europe calls upon the governments of its member states to “guarantee the absence of discriminations, including ones based on genetic characteristics”.

 

 The genetic tests referred to are, for example, prediction tests, which bring up many questions: What does one do when faced with a risk? Indeed, the presence of a gene that causes a disease does not automatically mean that the person will develop the disease. However, this risk based on statistics can be of interest to insurance companies, which will take it into account in their propositions.

 

 The Council of Europe insisted on the fact that “the duty of a government is to make sure no person is subjected to discrimination because of his or her genetic characteristics “. Could it be a reference to prenatal testing for Down Syndrome? Has medicine not claimed it can predict the “quality” of a child to be? Is that not very serious discrimination?