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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 information held by HMOs must be kept confidential. [Georgia Code Annotated 33-21-23)

Conditions Imposed on Genetic Testing/Use of Genetic information

Genetic information is considered the “unique property of the individual tested.” Restrictions are imposed on access to and use of genetic information by insurers, HMOs, managed care organizations, and other payors. [Georgia Code Annotated 33-54-1 and 33-54-6]

Permitted Releases of Health Information or Genetic Information for Research

  • Research facilities may conduct testing and may use the information derived from genetic testing for scientific research purposes so long as the identity of any individual tested is not disclosed to any third party, except that the individuals’ identify may not only be disclosed with the consent of the individual. [Georgia Code Annotated 33-54-6].

Definition of Genetic Test/Genetic Information

“Genetic testing” means laboratory tests of human DNA or chromosomes for the purpose of identifying the presence or absence of inherited alterations in genetic material or genes which are associated with a disease or illness that is asymptomatic at the time of testing and that arises solely as a result of such abnormality in genes or genetic material. For purposes of this chapter, genetic testing shall not include routine physical measurements; chemical, blood, and urine analysis; tests for abuse of drugs; and tests for the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus. [Georgia Code Annotated 33-54-2]