Insurers discriminating against people who get genetic test results could hobble research, bioethicists warn

SMH, 8 November 2017
Author: Kate Aubusson
“Insurers are able to discriminate against individuals who undergo genetic testing, and that threatens to hobble genomic research, bioethics and law experts have warned in a recent paper published in Public Health Genomics. Anyone who receives their results of genetic testing as part of a research project needs to disclose them to insurers if asked, despite the Human Genetics Society of Australasia calling for research findings to be excluded. Insurers can deny cover or hike up premiums for healthy individuals who discover they carry a mutation for a condition they may never develop based on the testing results, the authors warned.”
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Doctor wins right to take GMC to employment tribunal

BMJ 2017; 359:j5075
Author: Clare Dyer
“The UK’s highest court has given doctors the go-ahead to bring employment tribunal claims against the General Medical Council (GMC) for sex, race, or disability discrimination in the way it handles complaints against them. The UK Supreme Court dismissed the GMC’s appeal against a Court of Appeal ruling in April 2016 opening the way for such claims. No further appeal is possible after the judgment of the country’s top court.”
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Peng v NSW Health Pathology [2017] NSWCATAD 288

Decision date: 28 September 2017
“HUMAN RIGHTS – disability discrimination in employment – where President of the Anti-Discrimination Board has declined a complaint of disability discrimination in employment as lacking in substance – where employer relies on unjustifiable hardship exception – whether it is fair and just for leave to be given for complaint to proceed.”
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The Role of Courts in Shaping Health Equity

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 2017, 42(5): 749-770
Author: Mark A Hall
“Over the past fifty years, courts have played a limited, yet key, role in shaping health equity in the United States in three areas of law: racial discrimination, disability discrimination, and constitutional rights. In this article, I examine in various ways the roads courts have taken, the roads not taken, and possible future paths.”
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Viewing Health Equity through a Legal Lens: Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 2017, 42(5): 771-788
Authors: Sara Rosenbaum, Sara Schmucker
“Enacted as part of the watershed Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI prohibits discrimination by federally assisted entities on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Indeed, the law is as broad as federal funding across the full range of programs and services that affect health. Over the years, governmental enforcement efforts have waxed and waned, and private litigants have confronted barriers to directly invoking its protections. But Title VI endures as the formal mechanism by which the nation rejects discrimination within federally funded programs and services.”
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France to legislate on assisted reproduction: spokesman

Reuters, 28 June 2017
Authors: Jean-Baptiste Vey, Brian Love and Andrew Roche
“The French government wants to give lesbian couples and single women access to assisted reproduction, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, setting the scene for a major extension of gay rights under new President Emmanuel Macron. French law currently restricts techniques such as artificial insemination using donated sperm to heterosexual couples. The National Consultative Committee on Ethics (CCNE) said on Tuesday it was in favor of extending medically assisted procreation to female couples and single women.”
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Public Health ordered to use gender-neutral terms

The Guam Daily Post, 16 June 2017
Author: John O’Connor
“The Department of Public Health and Social Services has been ordered by the Superior Court of Guam to update its record system and forms, including birth certificates, so that they are gender neutral. The department will have 30 days from May 31 to enact the changes and will make gender-neutral birth certificates available to same-sex parents who did not receive certificates correctly identifying both of them in the past.”
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Challenges To Reducing Discrimination And Health Inequity Through Existing Civil Rights Laws

Health Aff 2017 vol. 36 no. 6 1041-1047
Authors: Amitabh Chandra, Michael Frakes, Anup Malani
“More than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, health care for racial and ethnic minorities remains in many ways separate and unequal in the United States. Moreover, efforts to improve minority health care face challenges that differ from those confronted during de jure segregation. We review these challenges and examine whether stronger enforcement of existing civil rights legislation could help overcome them.”
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Drug testing welfare recipients raises questions about data profiling and discrimination

The Conversation, 12 May 2017
Author: Bronwen Dalton
“The Australian government’s proposed random drug test trial for welfare recipients is not so random. Announced as part of the 2017 federal budget, Treasurer wants 5,000 people on Newstart or Youth Allowance in three locations to undergo random drug testing from January next year. If drugs are detected, the user could find their welfare quarantined. But rather than doing people “a big favour” such data-based programs often disproportionately target those of low socio-economic status. The use of data tools to profile people seeking help only adds to the problem.”
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