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Genes and Insurance
Ethical, Legal and Economic Issues


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Part of Cambridge Law, Medicine and Ethics

  • Date Published: February 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521054508

£ 23.99

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About the Authors
  • The result of two key social developments in recent years are examined here: the partial dismantling of the welfare state and the progress of genetics. Genetic insights are increasingly valuable for risk assessment, and insurers would like to use these insights to help determine premiums. Combined with the fact that social welfare is being curtailed, this could potentially create an uninsured high-risk population. Along with considerations of autonomy and privacy, this is the basis for an ethical critique of insurer's access to information. The result has often been regulation of such information; but the authors argues that due to adverse selection, regulation will not solve these problems, and this may jeopardize the survival of private personal insurance. Instead, we should look towards the resurrection of social insurance, a key component of the welfare state. This will interest academic researchers as well as professionals involved with genetics and insurance.

    • Considers issues of increasing importance to society
    • Interdisciplinary approach combines insights from law, economics and philosophy
    • Looks to future approaches to the problems arising from genetic research and insurance
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    • Winner of The British Insurance Law Association (BILA) book prize for 2004

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… this timely book, a welcome translation from the Swedish original … This excellent book tells a cautionary tale about the prospects of total and partial regulation …' The King's College Law Journal

    'The legal and moral implications of genetic testing and insurance risk assessment are of growing importance as our knowledge of genetics and their impact on the development of disease increases. This book looks at the subject from ethical and economic angles, as well as from a legal viewpoint, and should be read by all those interested in the ongoing debate on the extent to which disclosure of genetic information to insurers should be regulated.' Actuary

    'Genes and Insurance is both thought provoking and a good read …' Ken Davidson, Chairman of Crispin Speers & Partners (Lloyds Brokers), past Chairman of the British Insurance Law Association

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521054508
    • length: 180 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.27kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    Part I. Starting Points:
    2. The terminology and possibilities of genetics
    3. Opportunities for insurers to use genetic information
    Part II. Social, Economic and Legal Aspects:
    4. Social insurance in the modern welfare state: emergence, maturity and partial dismantling
    5. International trade in personal insurance
    6. Prohibitions against discrimination in the private sphere: does legislation build on a consistent foundation?
    Part III. Ethical Aspects:
    7. Ethical arguments for and against the right of insurance companies to genetic information
    Part IV. Evaluation:
    8. Conclusions and policy implications

  • Authors

    Marcus Radetzki, Stockholms Universitet

    Marian Radetzki, Stockholms Universitet

    Niklas Juth, Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden


    • Winner of The British Insurance Law Association (BILA) book prize for 2004

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