Genetic Discrimination is a reality in Canada.
Genetic Discrimination occurs when people are treated unfairly because of actual or perceived differences in their genetic information that may cause or increase the risk to develop a disorder or disease. Genetic information is complicated and should not be used against us. This type of discrimination affects more than just those with Huntington’s, we are all at risk. Anyone could have sequences in their DNA that can lead to diseases like Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, vision loss and many more.
It is critical to create a safe environment for people with hereditary diseases, like Huntington’s, and ensure they are free to come forward to get the help they need, have genetic testing and participate in clinical trials. This is why HSC advocates for genetic fairness in Canada. Canada is the only G7 country that does have protect genetic information. As the lead organization of the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness (CCGF), HSC is dedicated to establishing protection over the use of personal DNA information for all Canadians.
Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness
The Huntington Society of Canada has been instrumental in establishing the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness (CCGF), an advocacy-based organization urging the Canadian government to develop and implement a “made in Canada” strategy designed to eliminate this form of discrimination. Bev Heim-Myers, CEO of the Huntington Society of Canada serves as Chair of the Coalition.
Though other countries have taken important steps towards eliminating genetic discrimination, Canada is lagging behind. CCGF is working hard to bring a necessary level of privacy and protection to Canadians, aiming to ensure that genetic information is used fairly without fear of repercussion. Legislation to protect genetic information and prevent employers, insurers and other businesses from using genetic test information to the detriment of individual Canadians.