February 2012

Genetics and Health Insurance

"Illinois was the first state to pass the bill that kept insurance companies from using genetic information against their customers"

The Human Genome Project sought to map the entire genetic structure of a person and at the time it was a lofty goal. When the mapping was complete and scientists were able to begin detecting genes that predisposed people to certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, the insurance industry started to take notice.

A debate raged whether insurance companies should be able to exclude you or charge you a higher premium because you had the chance to contact a specific disease. Patients and doctors thought this should remain private because a predisposition does not mean they will get it.

Fostering a Sense of Worth in Our Daughters

It’s up to us to teach them that they are more than their bodies.

And it’s up to us to teach them that their bodies are beautiful, no matter what size or shape they come in—as well as that they can be or do anything, that they are not hot commodities but people with worthy dreams and interests, and that they are not playthings for the opposite sex, but their own individual selves. From birth, they will be told otherwise—from the media, from corporations trying to sell them things to make them accept traditional roles or change themselves, even from politicians who think they never should’ve been given the right to vote. Their worth, they will be drilled over and over again, is determined not by their character or deeds or simple existence as a sentient human being, but by what they look like—as well as how they serve men.