Genetics and Disability Insurance: Ethics, Law and Policy

2000-2001 - The Center was awarded a grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH) in 2000 for a project entitled " Genetic Testing and the Future of Disability Insurance: Ethics, Law & Policy," with Jeffrey Kahn acting as principal investigator and Susan M. Wolf as co-investigator.

The project convened an interdisciplinary working group of experts to address issues that will arise in the use of genetic information in the context of disability insurance. Insurance companies are increasingly interested in genetic information to help determine eligibility and premium rates. While the idea of genetic testing has been discussed in the context of life and health insurance, the impact this testing will have on disability insurance is an issue that has not been explored in-depth. The project hosted a conference in 2003 to engage the public in a discussion of the ethical, legal, and policy issues raised by the use of genetic testing in disability insurance. The project’s final products were day-long conference to address the understanding of ethical, legal, and policy challenges arising in disability insurance as a result of emerging genetic technologies and the publication of information from this conference which was published in a special supplement in Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics in 2004.