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Eigendoms- en gebruiksrechten van genetische informatie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden genetic information, genoeconomics, insurance of longevity risk, risk selection, Regulation
Auteurs Prof. dr. Frank den Butter
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2003, the WRR suggested in the ‘Deciding on Biotechnology’ report that individuals should not be given ownership of their personal genetic information (DNA) to prevent risk selection and exclusion. Yet, that does not seem politically and ethically feasible. From that perspective, the research question of this article is how to regulate ownership and use of genetic information. Better predictability of health and longevity risk, through genetic information and thanks to new developments in geno-economics, possibly in combination with ‘big data’, makes risk selection by insurance companies attractive. That holds more specifically for the pension system. In addition to insurance for investment risk, the pension system also offers insurance for longevity risk. In itself, selection for longevity risk via premium setting is not unwarranted since the ‘bad risks’ with long life expectancy are the highly educated, so that the current implicit risk solidarity in pension insurance in The Netherlands, unlike in health insurance, brings about more inequality. But an unrestricted risk selection does raise ethical and social questions and does not fit into the new pension system in the Netherlands. That is why good and extensive legislation is needed for property rights and the utilization of genetic information of individual citizens. A similar focus on regulation is also in order for the use of DNA information of the government in criminal cases. Here the question is what additional options the government should have to use the information to solve crimes.


Prof. dr. Frank den Butter
Prof. dr. Frank den Butter is hoogleraar algemene economie aan de Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Van 1998 tot 2003 was hij lid van de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid.
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