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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

  • Physicians may not release records without patient consent unless authorized by law [Code of Laws of South Carolina Section 44-115-20.]
  • HMOs may not release health information without patient’s consent. [Code of Laws of South Carolina Section 38-33-260]

Conditions Imposed on Genetic Testing/Use of Genetic information

  • South Carolina’s “Privacy of Genetic Information Act” requires that all genetic information is generally confidential and must not be disclosed to a third party in a manner that allows identification of the individual tested without first obtaining the written informed consent of that individual. [Code of Laws of South Carolina Section 38-93-10]
  • The Genetic Privacy Act imposes specific requirements for informed consent for clinical genetic tests. Genetic discrimination is prohibited.

[Code of Laws of South Carolina Section 38-93-30]

Permitted Releases of Health Information or Genetic Information for Research

Genetic information may be released for use in research studies in which the identities of the persons from whom the genetic information is obtained are not disclosed to the person conducting the study. [Code of Laws of South Carolina Section 38-93-40]

Definition of Genetic Test/Genetic Information

“Genetic test” means a laboratory test or other scientifically or medically accepted procedure for determining the presence or absence of genetic characteristics in an individual.

"Genetic characteristic" means any scientifically or medically identifiable gene or chromosome, or alteration thereof, which is known to be a cause of disease or disorder, or determined to be associated with a statistically increased risk of development of a disease or disorder and which is asymptomatic of any disease or disorder.

"Genetic information" means information about genes, gene products, or genetic characteristics derived from an individual or a family member of the individual. "Gene product" is a scientific term that means messenger RNA and translated protein. For purposes of this chapter, genetic information shall not include routine physical measurements; chemical, blood, and urine analysis, unless conducted purposely to diagnose a genetic characteristic; tests for abuse of drugs; and tests for the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus.

[Code of Laws of South Carolina Section 38-93-10]