Recently I wrote a post about the Senate passing GINA. There was an interesting comment from the watchdogonscience that echoes his post on the subject.

Just as discrimination against race and gender still occur despite enactment of laws to protect us, the new genetic bias law will not protect you from discrimination. If your employer or insurance company discriminates against you due to genetic profiling, it will be YOUR responsibility to provide evidence to prove this. Not only will this be legally difficult to almost impossible to do, but also will involve years of litigations and plenty of money. Unfortunately, time and money are precious to those that are ill. Filing a lawsuit as a remedy is not a practical solution when one needs immediate medical care. This new “genetic bias law” falsely leads people into taking genetic testing without providing them an adequate avenue of protection against discrimination. This law was passed primarily to promote genetic research and not to better our healthcare system or to protect you.

It's true that a law by itself does not prohibit people from breaking it. But that is no reason not to pass anti-discrimination laws. Should the Civil Rights Act have not been enacted because it would not end racism? Of course not. In fact, it is because discrimination exists and will continue to exist that such laws need to be passed. Not having a law inevitably leads to legalized discrimination or people not taking tests that could help save their lives. Having a law provides individuals a recourse to protect themselves from law breakers. Sure, our legal system may be tilted, but there are organizations that will help those who are discriminated against pro bono.