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Genetic discrimination, insurance, and solidarity: an analysis of the argumentation for fair risk classification

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This article analyzes the argumentation used in European governmental and expert discussion on genetic discrimination in life insurance. The article focuses on competing justifications for fair risk classification in private insurance, and explores the ambiguity of the principle of solidarity in this context. The analysis starts by examining common justifications for the necessity of discrimination in life and health insurance. After that, the article explores the arguments used, in particular, for problematizing genetic discrimination, and shows what kind of implications this may have for the relationship between private and social insurance. In the final section, the discussion on this issue in Finland is contrasted with the diverse debates found elsewhere in Europe and internationally to show how the discussion varies locally, depending much on what is considered to be the social task of life insurance in a given societal context.
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Keywords: genetic discrimination; insurance; solidarity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Social Research, University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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