The nature and extent of genetic discrimination for presymptomatic individuals identified with an increased risk for Huntington's disease

A genetic test predicting onset of Huntington’s Disease (HD) has been available since 1986. Reports of discrimination resulting from genetic test results have been documented in the US and Great Britain and, while there are no published reports of such discrimination in Canada, research suggests that it occurs here as well. Yvonne Bombard is investigating discrimination faced by Canadians who test positive for genetic risk of HD, but have not yet developed outward symptoms. She is assessing the degree of discrimination they experience when trying to obtain extended health coverage, life and disability insurance, and employment, and comparing these findings to discrimination levels in the US and Australia. Results from the research could be used to inform social, legal and health policy related to predictive genetic testing.