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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.

LOUISIANA

Confidentiality of Health Information

HMOs must protect the confidentiality of medical information [Louisiana Statutes Annotated - Revised Statutes 22:2020].

Conditions Imposed on Genetic Testing/Use of Genetic information

  • Genetic information must be kept confidential. Disclosure is subject to specific conditions. [Louisiana Statutes Annotated - Revised Statutes 213.7].
  • Genetic discrimination in the workplace is prohibited. Employers may not disclose genetic information about employees.
  • Louisiana restricts use of genetic information by insurers. According to insurance statutes, “An insured’s or enrollee’s genetic information is the property of the insured or enrollee” 22:213.7(E).
  • A general authorization for the release of medical records does not serve as an authorization for the disclosure of genetic information. [Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated Section 22:213.7 C(5).]
  • Authorization for disclosure of genetic information must be written, and adhere to the format specified by statute, including describing the specific genetic information to be disclosed and stating the date upon which the authorization will expire, which may not be more than sixty days from the date of authorization. [Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated Section 22:213.7 C(2).]

Permitted Releases of Health Information or Genetic Information for Research

  • Louisiana law permits releases of genetic information “anonymous research where the identity of the individual will not be released.” [Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated Section 22:213.7 D.]
  • Louisiana law which state that an insured’s or enrollee’s genetic information is the property of the insured or enrollee do not apply to genetic information obtained for anonymous research where the identity of the subject will not be released. [Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated Section 22:213.7 D.]
  • A general authorization for the release of medical records does not serve as an authorization for the disclosure of genetic information. [Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated Section 22:213.7 C(5).]
  • The authorization for disclosure of genetic information must be in writing, and adhere to the format specified by statute, including describing the specific genetic information to be disclosed and stating the date upon which the authorization will expire, which may not be more than sixty days from the date of authorization. [Louisiana Revised Statutes Annotated Section 22:213.7 C(2).]

Definition of Genetic Test/Genetic Information

“Genetic analysis” means the process of characterizing genetic information from a human tissue sample.

“Genetic information” means all information about genes, gene products, inherited characteristics, or family history/pedigree that is expressed in common language.

“Genetic test” means any test for determining the presence or absence of genetic characteristics in an individual, including tests of nucleic acids, such as DNA, RNA, and mitochondrial DNA, chromosomes, or proteins in order to diagnose or identify a genetic characteristic.

“Individual” means the source of a human tissue sample from which a DNA sample is extracted or genetic information is characterized.

“Individual identifier” means a name, address, social security number, health insurance identification number, or similar information by which the identity of an individual can be determined with reasonable accuracy, either directly or by reference to other available information. Such term does not include characters, numbers, or codes assigned to an individual or a DNA sample that cannot singly be used to identify an individual.

[Louisiana Statutes Annotated -- Revised Statutes Section 213.7.]