Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Protecting Against Genetic Discrimination


Protecting Against Genetic Discrimination

Chief Human Rights Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan welcomed the release today of an Australian consultation paper* on the protection of human genetic information.

Ms Noonan said that the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) and Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) jointly produced paper highlighted the fundamental challenges to the realisation of human rights posed by the rapid development of genetic science.

“These challenges come from safely balancing the beneficial use of genetic information while still protecting people’s privacy, rights and interests. These are undoubtedly challenges that New Zealand also faces”.

Ms Noonan said that recommendations, which might be of interest in the New Zealand context, included proposals that:

- The grounds of unlawful discrimination should be extended to ensure they cover discrimination based on a person’s (real or perceived) genetic status.

- A national, independent body should be established to provide high-level advice to Government and industry about human genetics and to assist in developing new and/or compliant laws, guidelines and practices.

- The ethical oversight of all human genetic research should be strengthened.

- There should be new rules to govern the operation of human genetic databases.

- Employers should be prohibited from gathering and using genetic information except in very limited circumstances.

- It should be a criminal offence to submit a person’s sample for genetic testing, knowing that it is being done without the consent of the individual concerned or without lawful authority.

“The Commission has been monitoring both overseas and local developments relating to the use of human genetic information due to concern that human genetic testing introduces the possibility of discrimination as a result of genetic differences,” said Ms Noonan.

In November 2001 the Government referred the matter of human genetic discrimination to the Commission for further consideration as part of the development of a National Plan of Action for Protecting Human Rights, which the Commission has responsibility for.

Ms Noonan said that the Commission recognised the importance of issues arising from human genetic testing and was committed to encouraging, and participating in, a New Zealand dialogue on such issues.

*The consultation paper (www.alrc.gov.au) arises from a joint inquiry conducted by the ALRC and AHEC into potential privacy and discrimination issues surrounding human genetic samples and information. The final report of the inquiry is due for release on 31 March 2003.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news