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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

  • Patient health records must be kept private [West’s Annotated Code of Virginia, 32.1-127.1:03]
  • Statute on human subjects in research imposes requirements on the conduct of human research regardless of the source of funding, requiring obtaining informed consent from participants and review by human research review committees. [West’s Annotated Code of Virginia, 32.1-162.16]

Conditions Imposed on Genetic Testing/Use of Genetic information

Genetic information must be kept private [West’s Annotated Code of Virginia, 38.2-508.4]

Employers and insurers may not require individuals to undergo genetic tests.

Permitted Releases of Health Information or Genetic Information for Research

Disclosures of health information for research purposes are permitted as follows: (i) any provider who receives records from another provider from making subsequent disclosures as permitted under this section or (ii) any provider from furnishing records and aggregate or other data, from which patient-identifying prescription information has been removed, encoded or encrypted, to qualified researchers, including, but not limited to, pharmaceutical manufacturers and their agents or contractors, for purposes of clinical, pharmaco-epidemiological, pharmaco-economic, or other health services research. [Virginia Code Annotated, Section 32.1-127.1:03]

Definition of Genetic Test/Genetic Information

Genetic test means a test for determining the presence or absence of genetic characteristics in an individual in order to diagnose a genetic characteristic. [Virginia Code Annotated, Section 38.2-508.4]

State Law Covering Human Research Subjects

Virginia requires informed consent of subjects prior to participation in research and imposes other specific requirements on the conduct of human subjects research. [Virginia Code Annotated, Section 32.1-162.18]