The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA): public policy and medical practice in the age of personalized medicine

J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Jun;27(6):743-6. doi: 10.1007/s11606-012-1988-6.


Survey data suggest that many people fear genetic discrimination by health insurers or employers. In fact, such discrimination has not yet been a significant problem. This article examines the fear and reality of genetic discrimination in the United States, describes how Congress sought to prohibit such discrimination by passing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and explores the implications of GINA for general internists and their institutions. It concludes that medical providers and health care institutions must be familiar with the general intent and specific terms of GINA, and should continue to collect genetic information that can contribute to the high quality provision of medical treatment. Not doing so violates their medical mission and diminishes the quality of care patients deserve.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Privacy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Genetic Testing / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Medical*
  • Precision Medicine / methods*
  • Prejudice*
  • Public Policy*
  • United States