October 12, 2005

IBM Will Not Use Genetic Testing in Employment, Insurance or Benefits

In what is being billed as a Thought Leader Done Good, the world's largest technology company "by revenue" has promised not to use genetic information in hiring or determining eligibility for health plans and benefits. This leaves a hole large enough for a truck to drive through, of course, where insurance and other benefits are concerned, since requiring patients to release the results of a DNA test is only the beginning the use of hereditary information in those settings. But even if genetic testing is in its infancy in terms of volume and employer use, this is a nice gesture on the part of IBM that suggests it wants to be part of the debate about how corporations partake of the availability of genetic testing.

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