Wednesday, May 25, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Part Three of The Current
Genetic Discrimination - Katie Lingard
When Katie Lingard graduated from chiropractic college, and wanted to set up a practice, she ran into an unexpected challenge. No one wanted to insure her. The reason? Katie's father has Huntington disease. It's a devastating degenerative neurological disorder and it's genetic. Katie doesn't want to know whether she has the Huntington gene, but there's a 50-50 chance she does - and will develop symptoms in middle age.
At 28, Katie Lingard is - right now - perfectly healthy. But insurers see her as a risk and she sees that as genetic discrimination. She's not alone. Last week, Ontario MPP Mike Colle introduced a private member's bill to amend the province's human rights code, to include genetic characteristics as a prohibited ground of discrimination. Katie Lingard joined us in Toronto.
Genetic Discrimination - Frank Zinatelli
The insurance industry is watching this issue closely. Frank Zinatelli is vice-president and general counsel for the Canadian Life and Insurance Association. He was in Toronto.
Genetic Discrimination - Debate
The Ontario government isn't the only one to consider the issue of genetic discrimination. A similar private member's bill was introduced in Ottawa but died when the federal election was called. Meanwhile, the United States and several European countries already have a range of laws and policies in place aimed at preventing a person's genetics from being held against them.
For a look at the bigger picture here, we were joined by two people. Bev Heim-Myers is the Chair of the Coalition for Genetic Fairness, which has been lobbying for a Canadian policy. She was in Toronto. And Tim Caulfield is the Canada Research Chair in Health Law & Policy at the University of Alberta. He was in Edmonton.
Last Word - This Day in History
On this day in 1977, the movie Star Wars debuts in theatres.
34 years later, fans fondly remember ... a time before George Lucas ruined their fond memories.
Other segments from today's show: