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illustration shows a padlock hanging from a DNA helix

There’s growing concern about genetic discrimination in New Zealand – and the lack of Government intervention in this fast-moving field.  

As genetic testing becomes more accessible than ever before, there are calls for a line in the sand to be drawn – and a final answer to a question not yet canvassed: should insurers be able to use our genetic information? 

Genetic discrimination is using someone’s genetic information to discriminate against them – to treat them in a way that’s different to someone else because we know something about their genetics.  

Currently, life and health insurance companies in New Zealand are allowed to use this data in determining cover and premiums for applicants – something experts say anecdotal evidence suggest has led to increased premiums, or no cover at all. 

While insurers may argue it's their right to know a person's medical history – researchers say genetics is, in fact, not a part of one's history, but a part of their future.  

There are a lot of complexities in determining someone's genetic makeup and whether they are prone to getting a disease later in life.  

There are also ways to mitigate and change the outcome of... see more