By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
A California school district faces a lawsuit which has been appealed to the Ninth Circuit were parents of a six-year-old boy having genetic markers for the condition of cystic fibrosis brought suit against the Palo Alto Unified School District claiming the district violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and First Amendment privacy rights of the child.
The case revolves around the issue of genetic discrimination. According to the lawsuit, parents enrolled six-year-old Coleman Chadman at Jordan Middle School. The parents disclosed the genetic marker for Coleman on an interview form requesting information as to the child’s medical conditions. As a result of that disclosure, and other events, Coleman was prohibited from attending school due to DNA markers for cystic fibrosis and not for any condition presently manifesting itself as a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis.
The case demonstrates a worrying problem leading to discrimination based on genetic factors where the expression of certain genes is not a guarantee of having such medical problems yet the discrimination is nevertheless applied.
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