19 October seminar: Genetic Discrimination in Australia: Monitoring the Moratorium on use of Genetic Test Results in Life Insurance


Register here 

Please join us for the next ‘Healthy Futures’ seminar hosted by the Deakin Science and Society Network (SSN). You can join the conversation on Twitter by following us at @SSNDeakin and using the hashtags #SSNseminar #HealthyFutures. The link to live-stream is below and will also be emailed before the event.

‘Genetic Discrimination in Australia: Monitoring the Moratorium on use of Genetic Test Results in Life Insurance’


This talk explores the contemporary regulatory environment in Australia in relation to the use of genetic test results in life insurance underwriting. It examines concerns about discrimination against life insurance applicants on the basis of genetic test results and the impact fear of such genetic discrimination can have on uptake of clinical genetic testing and participation in genetic research. It outlines the current moratorium on the use of genetic test results in life insurance introduced by the life insurance industry peak body, the Financial Services Council (FSC) in July 2019 and how this came about. It goes on sketch out a research project funded by the Medical Research Future Fund that Margaret is a CI on, which is focussed on monitoring the moratorium’s effectiveness. Data is being gathered from a range of stakeholders to provide independent evidence to inform the FSC’s review of the moratorium in 2002 and will also be written up by way of report to Government at the conclusion of the project in 2023.

About the Speaker:

Professor Margaret Otlowski (University of Tasmania) is focused on the relationship between the law, health and ethics. She is passionate about protecting people from harm in this era. Reviewing laws, and recommending change in light of new ethical questions is a fundamental aspect of her work. Professor Otlowski has served as expert and high-level policy advisor to the government as member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) and the Human Genetics Advisory Committee (HGAC), both of which are Principal Committees of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).Professor Otlowski was appointed chair of the working group responsible for rewriting the chapter on genetics in the NHMRC’s National Statement.Margaret has published extensively in the field of health law and bioethics, including a book with Oxford University Press (UK) (Voluntary Euthanasia and the Common Law 1997), a number of monographs, book chapters in national and international publications, and more than 80 peer reviewed publications in refereed journals. She has also published numerous publications for professional journals, as well as conference proceedings.

About the chair:

Dr Jeff Craig is Professor of Epigenetics and Cell Biology at Deakin University’s IMPACT Institute in the Faculty of Health. His research involves developing epigenetic biomarkers of environment, human health and disease. He also leads the interdisciplinary Gen(e)quality network which focuses on the ethical, legal and social issues of genomic testing.

Link to watch the seminar:

The seminar will be live-streamed on YouTube Live. Access using the link here 

Tuesday 19 October 10am – 11:30am AEDT (GMT +11)

Q&A with the speaker to follow. To send questions/participate in the chat, you’ll need to sign-in using a YouTube account.

The seminar will be recorded and available to watch on the SSN YouTube channel after the Livestream.

If you have any questions, please send to ssn-info@deakin.edu.au.