Senate debates

Tuesday, 18 September 2018


Life Insurance

4:34 pm

Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senators O'Neill, Ketter and Di Natale, I move:

That the Senate:

(a) notes:

  (i) that the fear of insurance implications has been shown to deter the uptake of potentially life-saving clinical genetic testing and research participation,

  (ii) the unanimous report into the life insurance industry tabled by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services on 27 March 2018, which revealed that genetic data is not presently sufficiently accurate or reliable, particularly in relation to the increasingly popular direct to consumer genetic testing, for a duty to disclose to be appropriate,

  (iii) that the Committee was unanimously of the view that a ban on the use of predictive genetic test results in life insurance underwriting be implemented, at least in the medium term, in a form similar to the United Kingdom moratorium,

  (iv) that there are concerns that the current self-regulation model applied to use of genetic data by the life insurance industry is conflicted and a co-regulatory approach would strike an appropriate balance between safeguarding against the improper use of genetic information by the life insurance industry, while still allowing it to operate efficiently,

  (v) that the Government was due to respond to the unanimous report three months after it was tabled, and

  (vi) that the Government is yet to respond to the unanimous report; and

(b) calls on the Government to respond to the report, particularly around genetic information.

Question agreed to.