Sunday, October 31, 2010

Concern for Privacy -- Letter re "DNA Testing of Prospects Continues...," Times

To the Sports Editor:

Re “DNA Testing of Prospects Continues Under New Rules,” Oct. 10: Baseball’s continued use of genetic testing to determine the age of future prospects reveals fundamental shortcomings in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Employers are forbidden to request genetic tests, but Major League Baseball’s ostensibly testing for paternity and maternity may be safely outside the scope of the law.

Perhaps broader exceptions should be granted to sports organizations. The elucidation of genetics for athletic ability and for medical conditions that endanger athletes would seem to provide grounds for expansive testing, both in assessing skill (something that is done, but by gross approximation based on performance) and also in protecting athletes from heretofore unperceived harm from disease.

The real concern, however, would be the maintenance of genetic privacy for the athlete, and for their relatives who share much of their DNA, once genes become just another stat on the sports pages.

Dov Greenbaum
Mark Gerstein
New Haven

Above is a published letter, with the following citation:
D Greenbaum & M Gerstein (2010). "Concern for Privacy, NY Times (17 Oct., pg. SP11)
What it looks like in the paper

In response to:
DNA Testing of Prospects Continues Under New Rules
Published: October 9, 2010

up to [Lab Papers] / [Other Papers]