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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 03/05/10

Appendix A

Summary of State Laws

This summary of state laws does not include full citations for statutes that prohibit discrimination in employment or insurance on the basis of genetic testing or genetic information. There are other comprehensive collections of state laws addressing genetic nondiscrimination in employment and insurance. Therefore, there are complete references only where the statute is relevant for the conduct of research using tissue specimens.


Confidentiality of Health Information

  • Medical records and health information must be kept confidential [Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated 25-1-1201].

Conditions Imposed on Genetic Testing/Use of Genetic information

  • Genetic information is considered the unique property of the individual to whom the information pertains; Any information concerning an individual obtained through the use of genetic techniques may be subject to abuses if disclosed to unauthorized third parties without the willing consent of the individual to whom the information pertains. [Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated 10-3-1104.7]
  • Information derived from genetic testing must be kept confidential and privileged. Releases of genetic testing information that identifies the person tested for purposes other than diagnosis, treatment, or therapy, requires specific written consent by the person tested. [Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated 10-3-1104.7]
  • Entities that receives information derived from genetic testing may not seek, use, or keep the information for any nontherapeutic purpose or for any underwriting purpose connected with the provision of health care insurance, group disability insurance, or long-term care insurance coverage. [Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated 10-3-1104.7]

    Authors’ note: Of the four states (Florida, Colorado, Georgia, and Louisiana) that state that an individual is the “owner” of his or genetic information, three of them, Colorado, Georgia, and Louisiana permit the use of “genetic information” for research purposes when the identity of the individual is not disclosed.

Permitted Releases of Health Information or Genetic Information for Research

Research facilities may use the information derived from genetic testing for scientific research purposes so long as the identity of any individual to whom the information pertains is not disclosed to any third party; except that the individual’s identity may be disclosed to the individual’s physician if the individual consents to such disclosure in writing. [Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated 6-18-103]

Definition of Genetic Test/Genetic Information

“Genetic testing” means any laboratory test of human DNA, RNA, or chromosomes that is used to identify the presence or absence of alterations in genetic material which are associated with disease or illness. “Genetic testing” includes only such tests as are direct measures of such alterations rather than indirect manifestations thereof. [Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated 10-31104.7]