Publication details

Czech Report on Genetic Testing for Employment and Insurance



Year of publication 2020
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Attached files
Description Genetic testing for both medical and forensic purposes has become routine in Czechia, as in other developed countries. However, its use is sporadic in the fields of employment and insurance, likely due in part to the state of Czech political and socio-economic development as well as the shortcomings of post-socialist law. Although the Council of Europe and the European Union stipulate general principles, domestic legal discource about the particularities of the regulation of genetic testing is in its infancy. Discrimination based on individual genetic makeup is generally illicit in the employment context. Despite the fact that covert testing without informed consent is certainly punishable, one might expect it would occur in countries with perfunctory implementation of laws. Therefore, the absence of genetic testing in the workplace in Czechia is better explained by its impracticality, although rare exceptions exist that seek to protect healthcare practitioners handling dangerous substances. Genetic testing and consideration of its results do play role in life insurance. For instance, one insurer's contract terms exclude women with a genetically identified risk of breast cancer. However, another phenomenon is important in a country with an underdeveloped insurance market: instead of conducting controversial and likely illicit genetic testing, insurers simply exclude rare monogenetic diseases. Finally, Czechia has universal public health insurance, but we can expect that genetic makeup could be considered in the allocation of treatment and its public financing in the future.

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