Register Sunday | February 19 | 2017
DNA Discrimination Illustration by Julia Kreutz

DNA Discrimination

Canada is one of the only countries where people can be marginalized due to their genetics. But that may soon change.

In the fall of 2008, during her fourth year at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Dr. Anne Lakeland* listened carefully as a financial advisor delivered a talk about the need for life and disability insurance. The audience, all students in their final year, were told that they were excellent candidates for insurance—as long as they didn’t have any serious medical conditions.

The soon-to-be chiropractor was concerned: her father carries the genetic mutation responsible for Huntington’s disease, an inherited, often fatal brain disorder that leads to impaired motor and cognitive functions. Lakeland approached the financial advisor and asked whether her father’s condition would affect her applications. The advisor offered to make some anonymous inquiries on her behalf.

Lakeland was told that without life and disability insurance, she would be unable to set up a medical practice. So when the insurance companies told her intermediary that ...

Subscription Required!

Already have a subscription? Try logging in.