HC Deb 12 March 2001 vol 364 cc418-9W
Siobhain McDonagh

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what safeguards apply to ensure that people applying for insurance policies are not asked to reveal the results of tests for genetic conditions which have not had approval from the Genetics and Insurance Committee. [148856]

Yvette Cooper

The use of genetic test results by insurers is governed by a genetic testing code of practice issued by the Association of British Insurers. For an insurance company to ask for the results of a genetic test for a condition which is not approved by the Genetics and Insurance Committee (or is not one of the specified tests for conditions currently being considered by the Committee) would be in breach of an undertaking given by the ABI and in breach of their code of practice. Individuals who feel they have been unfairly treated under the code of practice can refer their case to an independent Adjudication Tribunal set up under the code. If the tribunal upholds a complaint, it is required to consider what further remedy or penalty is appropriate.

A requirement to report to Ministers on the compliance by the industry with the recommendations of GAIC is also included in the terms of reference of GAIC.

We have asked the Human Genetics Commission to examine the issues and the use of genetic information including in insurance and employment.