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Human Genetic Code Protection Law petitioned

By 2001/07/06 No Comments
Human Genetic Code Protection Law petitioned

 

As the Human Genome Project has almost been completed, the Council for Democracy in Science & Technology (CDST), a action body of PSPD, petitioned Korean government to enact a law for personal genetic code protection on June 7, 2001 with concerns about the possibility of persons being discriminated against on the basis of genes.
Source  :  PSPD Review

 

As the Human Genome Project has almost been completed, the Council for Democracy in Science & Technology (CDST), a action body of PSPD, petitioned Korean government to enact a law for personal genetic code protection on June 7, 2001 with concerns about the possibility of persons being discriminated against on the basis of genes. The CDST collected 1,870 signatures for the petition from the Korean citizens who worry about negative consequences that might be caused from its misuse.

The rapid progress in life science raises hopes to protect people from disease and starvation. The genome research has also positive applications in efforts to eliminate crime and other antisocial activities. However, it can be hardly be said with certainty that the findings from the Human Genome Project would automatically improve the welfare of humankind. The interpretation of human genome map and its uses will add new form of discrimination to the existing damages caused by GMO such as environmental destroy, ethical hazard, safety, etc, a CDST staff said.

The genome research is followed by the development of new bio-technology using results from the research. The biotech based on genome code is currently experimented with and adopted in investigating criminals, analyzing hereditary diseases, and in campaign for the reunions of dispersed family members because a person’s genome code has one’s own private and particular information, which must be protected. If the information flows out, severe violations of human rights will occur. A person possessing defective genes could be discriminated in his or her social activities. For example, employers might use predictable genetics in hiring their employees so that they reject applicants who are predisposed to develop chronic diseases. This discrimination might also occur when you apply for some insurance. This violation of human rights should not be allowed to happen in any case.

In this regard, the CDST initiated to make a petition for a law to prohibit the abuse of information on human genes for commercial and other unethical purposes. The petition includes: the principle of personal genome code protection; the regulation on collecting, analyzing, keeping, applying and opening genetic information; the limits on government’s uses of genetic information; the prohibition of discrimination in insurance; the regulation on examination of genome in medical treatment such as artificial insemination; the remuneration for genetic discrimination.

By Sinn Kim
dukesinn@hotmail.com

2001-07-06