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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

  • Health care providers may not disclose health care information about a patient to any other person without the patient’s written authorization. [Montana Code Annotated, 50-16-525]
  • HMOs must keep medical information confidential. [Montana Code Annotated, 33-31-113]

Conditions Imposed on Genetic Testing/Use of Genetic information

Restricts the use or attempt to obtain genetic information for non-therapeutic purposes (insurance, employment, etc.).

Insurers may not seek genetic information about an individual for a purpose that is: (a) unrelated to assessing or managing the individual’s current health; (b) inappropriate in an asymptomatic individual; or (c) unrelated to research.

Permitted Releases of Health Information or Genetic Information for Research

Disclosures by health care providers are permitted without patient authorization “for use in a research project that an institutional review board has determined:

(a) is of sufficient importance to outweigh the intrusion into the privacy of the patient that would result from the disclosure; (b) is impracticable without the use or disclosure of the health care information in individually identifiable form; (c) contains reasonable safeguards to protect the information from improper disclosure; (d) contains reasonable safeguards to protect against directly or indirectly identifying any patient in any report of the research project; and (e) contains procedures to remove or destroy at the earliest opportunity, consistent with the purposes of the project, information that would enable the patient to be identified, unless an institutional review board authorizes retention of identifying information for purposes of another research project.” [Montana Code Annotated 50-16-529]

Definition of Genetic Test/Genetic Information

“Genetic information” means information derived from genetic testing or medical evaluation to determine the presence or absence of variations or mutations, including carrier status, in an individual’s genetic material or genes that are scientifically or medically believed to cause a disease, disorder, or syndrome or are associated with a statistically increased risk of developing a disease, disorder, or syndrome that is asymptomatic at the time of testing.

“Genetic testing” or “genetic test” means a test used to diagnose a presymptomatic genetic factor, including analysis of human deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid, chromosomes, proteins, or metabolites. The term does not include a routine physical examination or a chemical, blood, or urine analysis, unless conducted or analyzed purposefully or knowingly to obtain genetic information, or a family history.

“Genetic trait” means any medically or scientifically identified genetic factor, known or presumed to be present in the individual or a biological relative but not presently associated with any manifestations of the disorder in the individual, that could cause a disorder or be statistically associated with an increased risk of development of a disorder.

[Montana Code Annotated 33-18-901]