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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 information must be maintained in a confidential manner. All patient-identifying health information is strictly confidential. [West’s New Mexico Statutes Annotated 14-6-1]
  • HMOs must protect the confidentiality of medical information. [West’s New Mexico Statutes Annotated 59A-46-27]

Conditions Imposed on Genetic Testing/Use of Genetic information

  • The Genetic Information Informed Privacy Act requires written consent prior to obtaining genetic information or samples for genetic analysis from a person. [West’s New Mexico Statutes Annotated 24-21-2/3]
  • Retention of genetic information, gene products or samples for genetic analysis is only permitted under limited circumstances, including where the retention is authorized under a research protocol approved by an IRB pursuant to federal law or a “medical registry or repository authorized by state or federal law”. A person’s genetic information or samples for genetic analysis shall be destroyed promptly upon the specific request by that person or that person’s authorized representative unless retention is authorized under a research protocol approved by an institution review board pursuant to federal law or a medical registry or repository authorized by state or federal law. [West’s New Mexico Statutes Annotated 24-21-5]

Permitted Releases of Health Information or Genetic Information for Research

A person’s DNA, genetic information or the results of genetic analysis may be obtained, retained, transmitted or used without the person’s written and informed consent for the purpose of medical or scientific research and education, including retention of gene products, genetic information or genetic analysis if the identity of the person or person’s family members is not disclosed. [West’s New Mexico Statutes Annotated, 24-21-3.]

Definition of Genetic Test/Genetic Information

“DNA” means deoxyribonucleic acid, including mitochondrial DNA, complementary DNA and DNA derived from ribonucleic acid.

“Gene products” means gene fragments, ribonucleic acids or proteins derived from DNA that would be a reflection of or indicate DNA sequence information.

“Genetic analysis” means a test of a person’s DNA, gene products or chromosomes that indicates a propensity for or susceptibility to illness, disease, impairment or other disorders, whether physical or mental; that demonstrates genetic or chromosomal damage due to environmental factors; or that indicates carrier status for disease or disorder; excluded, however, are routine physical measurements, chemical, blood and urine analysis, tests for drugs, and tests for the presence of HIV virus and any other tests or analyses commonly accepted in clinical practice at the time ordered.

“Genetic information” means information about the genetic makeup of a person or members of a person’s family, including information resulting from genetic analysis, DNA composition, participation in genetic research or use of genetic services.

[West’s New Mexico Statutes Annotated, 24-21-2]