"On May 21, 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), referred to by its sponsors as the first civil rights act of the 21st century, was enacted. GINA, P.L. 110-233, prohibits discrimination based on genetic information by health insurers and employers. The sequencing of the human genome and subsequent advances raise hope for genetic therapies to cure disease, but this scientific accomplishment is not without potential problems. An employer or health insurer could decide to take adverse action based on a genetic predisposition to disease, and situations have arisen where discriminatory action based on genetic information did occur. In addition, there is evidence that the fear of genetic discrimination has an adverse effect on those seeking genetic testing, as well as on participation in genetic research. GINA was enacted to remedy this situation. […] This report provides background on genetic information, legal implications regarding the use of this information, and relevant laws. It also discusses the statutory provisions of GINA."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34584