Divulgation de l’information génétique en assurances
Salman, S., Ngueng-Feze, S., Joly, Y., “Divulgation de l’information génétique en assurances” 93:2 (2015) The Canadian Bar Review 501-536.
Today, medical innovations arising from genetic research include the ability to predict, using genetic testing, the future health of certain individuals in particular as to their risk of developing certain diseases such as breast cancer. These advances have generated several therapeutic benefits but also entail new challenges for individuals. Indeed, genetic results generated may raise additional issues related to the use of this information outside of the therapeutic or medical research contexts. Many third parties such as insurers and employers have shown interest in using this information. In the insurance context, such use is likely to lead to a differential treatment of individuals based on their genetic characteristics at the time of purchase of personal insurance, potentially giving rise to the phenomenon of genetic discrimination. Unlike other jurisdictions, the law in Quebec does not provide specific rules on the use of genetic information. This status quo raises several issues in the context of insurance law. What is the scope of the duty to disclose of an insurance applicant and an insured concerning his genetic risks? What is the role of the insurer in the assessment of genetic risks? The study of various issues related to the possible use of genetic information in personal insurance and the duties of the applicant, the insured and the insurer upon subscription or renewal of an insurance policy reveals several uncertainties that may eventually require further clarifications from the legislator or the courts.
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