Genetic awareness

As genetic information assumes a more important role in everyday life, the potential for abuse grows ever greater. The implications of such information for issues from insurance policies to rights of privacy are immeasurable. The International Bar Association's effort to tackle them is therefore very significant.

The proposals developed by the IBA's Medicine and Law Committee include a look at the type of legal protection needed against abuses of the science as genetic screening tests become more widely available, as well as issues such as genetic discrimination and the use of human genome information.

It is particularly important that the issue of genetic information is discussed in a worldwide forum as practices vary from country to country and individuals in countries with less developed legal systems need to be protected.