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Investigating genetic discrimination in the Australian life insurance sector: The use of genetic test results in underwriting, 1999-2003

Citation

Otlowski, MFA and Stranger, MJA and Barlow-Stewart, K and Taylor, SD and Treloar, S, Investigating genetic discrimination in the Australian life insurance sector: The use of genetic test results in underwriting, 1999-2003, Journal of Law and Medicine, 14, (February 2007) pp. 367-396. ISSN 1320-159X (2007) [Refereed Article]


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Abstract

A major component of the Genetic Discrimination Project (GDP), an Australia-wide study to examine the advantages and disadvantages for individuals of having genetic information and cases of alleged genetic discrimination, is the analysis of insurers’ use of genetic test results. The peak life insurance body, IFSA, had collected data through the Australian Institute of Actuaries (AIA) for the period June 1999-May 2003 from life insurance companies in Australia regarding their use of genetic test results in insurance underwriting. The GDP negotiated with IFSA and the AIA for access to this data for independent analysis. Applications from 288 individuals who had disclosed a genetic test result included products for cover for death, trauma/crisis, income protection/disability and total and permanent disablement. A total of 81% (234/288) contained usable data for analysis. These cases involved the genetic conditions haemochromatosis (71%), Huntington disease (12%) and breast/ovarian cancer (6%). In 49% of cases, the genetic test result was described as the only influencing factor and of these, 32% involved a "positive" genetic test result. Whilst underwriting in most cases appeared to be reasonable, the article highlights several cases involving disclosure of a positive predictive test result for breast/ovarian cancer that required further investigation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law
Research Field: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
Author:Otlowski, MFA (Professor Margaret Otlowski)
Author:Stranger, MJA (Dr Mark Stranger)
Author:Taylor, SD (Professor Sandy Taylor)
ID Code:44147
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2010-05-14
Downloads:13 View Download Statistics

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