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Implications of Genetic Testing for Australian Insurance Law and Practice


Otlowski, MFA, Implications of Genetic Testing for Australian Insurance Law and Practice, University of Tasmania, Hobart, pp. 85. (2001) [Authored Other Book]


This paper is in the form of a report prepared on behalf of our research team (Professor Don Chalmers, Professor Loane Skene, Associate Professor Margaret Otlowski and Dr Dianne Nicol) as part of our project, funded by the Australian Research Council, to investigate the legal and ethical implications of the human genome project from an Australian perspective. This report examines the significance of the human genome project for Australian insurance law and practice. A separate report, examining the impact of genetics developments in the area of employment law and practice is also to be published.

This report follows on from a discussion paper that was sent to organisations and individuals having an interest in the area for their comment - our group taking the view that this research should be informed by consultation with the key stakeholders. Those consulted included prominent geneticists and other health care professionals working in the field of genetics, organisations representing people with genetic disabilities, the presiding officers of the Commonwealth, State and Territory Anti-Discrimination Boards and Tribunals, and representatives from the insurance industry. As a result of this targeted consultation process, in excess of twenty-five responses were received, representing a broad crosssection of the individuals and groups that we had approached.

Our group is indebted to those who spent time on replying to the circulated discussion paper. We have drawn on the advice, comments and insights of the various respondents in developing our recommendations and this input has been invaluable in the finalisation of the report. A list of those from whom we received responses is attached to this Report (Appendix 1).

The issue of access to genetic information by insurance companies and the use that can legitimately be made of such information has already attracted significant attention in the United Kingdom, the United States and many European countries. In some instances, this interest has resulted in guidelines, recommendations and/ or legislation. This report explores the legal and ethical issues within the Australian insurance context and makes a number of recommendations.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Other Book
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Public law
Research Field:Public law not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Justice and the law
Objective Field:Justice and the law not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Otlowski, MFA (Professor Margaret Otlowski)
ID Code:21751
Year Published:2001
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2014-02-05

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