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Tests génétiques en entreprise.. Une irruption à contre-courant de la législation sociale


  • Sophie Douay


The development of genetics, the decryptage of the human genome, and the possibilities foreseen for the creation of new methods of medical treatment are generally seen as the expression of progress, and so is the potential for better prevention of diseases, handicaps and disabilities. Accordingly, the market potential of genetic tests seems to be enormous. It already has led to important investments by laboratories, particularly in the United States, where testing kits might be free for sale to everybody wishing to apply them to test himself. Does this mean that we should enjoy full autonomy in all regards of self-testing, of medical prevention, and of selection of persons for insurance coverage, labor contract or professional career ? The debate on genetic testing is the more acute in the latter areas as it is the firm where both the testing material will be manufactured, and actually applied for selection purposes, and as the overall economic costs of work accidents and professional diseases might become subject to more efficient control. The debates which, in France, deal with this issue are rather controversial as main principles of labor law and of social law, in particular principles of protecting human dignity and personal privacy, are at stake, and as the nature of the technical and medical progress brought about by genetic testing is as ambivalent as the allegedly concomitant social progress.

Suggested Citation

  • Sophie Douay, 2003. "Tests génétiques en entreprise.. Une irruption à contre-courant de la législation sociale," Revue internationale de droit économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 233-272.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_172_0233

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