Genetic testing and insurance

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6926.472a (Published 12 February 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:472
  1. E Smyth,
  2. E Anderson,
  3. M Steel

    Complicated by polygenic diseases

    EDITOR, - We commend the recent attempt to address the issue of genetic testing and insurance.1 Given the differences between the health care systems in the United States and Britain, however, we believe that the editorial should have had British authors. Though the situation for life insurance may be similar on both sides of the Atlantic, that for health insurance is very different as in Britain health care is available to all through the NHS regardless of any additional insurance a person may hold.

    Too little mention was made of the complex issues of polygenic and multifactorial diseases. Perhaps these were beyond the scope of such a short editorial, but, because of the speed of recent technological advances, particularly in cancer genetics, this subject warrants further discussion. In the near future it will be possible to identify people who carry a gene or …

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