The Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI, Galway will host a one day conference (in conjunction with the Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University) entitled ‘Genetic Discrimination – Transatlantic Perspectives on the Case for a European Level Legal Response’.  The conference is taking place here in NUI, Galway on Saturday, 19th November, 2011.  The purpose of this conference is to examine the case for a European level legal and policy response to protect the privacy of genetic information and to prevent genetic discrimination, particularly in the employment and insurance contexts.  This conference recounts recent scientific advances that make genetic testing more and more accurate and more sophisticated (and which offers the prospect of being able to detect the onset of future disabilities).  It looks at the ethical debate on how to balance competing rights and interests (the right to privacy of the individual and the ‘need to know’ of business and other interests).  It examines the balance struck in the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (2008) in the US.   Keeping in mind the technological advances (and its future orientation) the ethical context and the balance struck in the US legislation it will examine the options for a European legal response possibly in the shape of a new non-discrimination (genetic information) Directive (or an amendment to existing Directives) and whether a sufficient case exists of such a response.  The conference is aimed at legal practitioners, medical practitioners, academics and researchers, NGOs and those involved in disability issues, bioethics and practice. It is also aimed at those interested in medical testing generally as well as genetic testing specifically and the implications of these practices (particularly in the employment and insurance contexts).

See here to register and for more information.

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Written by Charles O’Mahony

Charles O’Mahony is a lecturer in Public Law at the School of Law, NUI Galway. His research is primarily in the area of mental health law and policy. Charles previously worked as Amnesty International Ireland’s Legal Officer on its mental health campaign. You can contact him at charles.omahony[at]nuigalway.ie