"Gene-Ethics" (Genetic) Information and Discrimination at the Workplace: A Proactive Model Proposal for Turkey

Cetin B. I.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF BUSINESS ETHICS, vol.10, no.1, pp.33-46, 2017 (ESCI) identifier


The biotechnological developments of today have caused extremely important issues about ethics and human rights to be addressed in the field of healthcare while accelerating discussions on issues such as the disclosure, confidentiality, and sharing of genetic information. Genetic information, aside from contributing to scientific advances, contains numerous threats to economic, social, and work life. In this process, one of the most important issues coming to the fore has been genetic discrimination in working life, along with the widespread use and acceptance of genetic tests in the society. While certain genetic features are primarily linked to racial and ethnic groups, "genetic requirements" have emerged as an objective criterion in discrimination at the workplace. One branch of the genetic tests applied to the workplace constitutes professional diseases and occupational health issues. However, the issue of whether employers imply the tests are necessary because of business is a subject open to debate. The purposes of this study are to establish a descriptive framework of genetic discrimination within the scope of gene, ethics, human rights, and work life, to create awareness in the context of genetic discrimination practices and their legal dimension, and to develop a model of proactive measures against genetic discrimination as a type of discrimination that may come to the fore in Turkey along with the widespread use of cheap and accessible genetic tests.