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Danville Airlines Case Solution
In 1974 Privacy Act, there were no federal regulations that protected individuals from genetic discrimination in employment. In case of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which stated “genetic information shall not be considered a preexisting in the absence of the diagnosis of the actual condition”, federal legislation was present. However, even in this act the protection was limited. In both cases, Reiger did not have strong ground in which he could sue Danville. So, in both these laws Danville could have gotten away with testing Reiger without his permission, and firing him from flying planes. The 1990 American with disabilities act also barred adverse employment decisions based on an individual’s mental or physical disabilities. This law was designed to prevent individuals from such discrimination. Under this law, Danville could not have dismissed Reiger from his job if he performed with “reasonable accommodation”. Under this law, Reiger has a better chance in this scenario.
Following questions are answered in this case study solution
Discuss the issue of genetic testing and screening. What are the benefits and the drawbacks of genetic testing? Specifically, what were they for Reiger?
Assume it is technically legal for Danville to test Reiger without his consent. Did Danville have a right to do so? Why or why not?
Assume it was illegal. How does that change your answer?
Now, assume that Danville's attorneys say the law is ambiguous, and that fighting a lawsuit would be expensive. How does that change your answer?
Discuss Reiger's situation in light of
a. the 1974 Privacy Act,
b. The Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and
c. the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act.
Does the knowledge that Reiger lost his father to Huntington's disease and that he has a 90-percent chance of developing the same condition make a difference in your decision?
What recommendations should Julie Taylor make?
Case Analysis for Danville Airlines
1. Discuss the issue of genetic testing and screening. What are the benefits and the drawbacks of genetic testing? Specifically, what were they for Reiger?
Genetic testing and screening is a very controversial topic, and it is also termed as “Genomics”. There are some arguments in favor of this topic which indicate the benefits of genetic screening and testing, but a lot of drawbacks of this testing and screening also exist. One of the advantages of Genomics is that people without the symptoms could find out whether they and their children are predisposed to a particular disease or not. This way, by finding out the result of the tests, they can seek prophylactic treatment on time, and can make an important decision like whether to have children or not.
On the other side, one of the main drawbacks is the potential discrimination in employment. Other drawbacks include discrimination in health insurance and life insurance, based on test results. Genetic testing can adversely affect employees if this information gets to the employers. In case of Reiger, his father died of HD and genetically there is a very high probability of him carrying on the disease. In his case, the discrimination in employment took place. He did not go through Genomics, but his company took his blood sample without his consent for genetic testing and screening.
2. Assume it is technically legal for Danville to test Reiger without his consent. Did Danville have a right to do so? Why or why not?
If it is assumed that it is legal for Danville to test Reiger without his consent, then Danville has the right to test Reiger without his consent. Danville is an airline company where comfort along with the safety of the passengers comes first. Moreover, it is also legal to test employees without their consent. So, Danville was not involved in anything corrupt. They remained within their legal rights and took precautionary measure for the sake of their business. They took these measures also for the sake of their passenger’s safety.
3. Assume it was illegal. How does that change your answer?
If it is assumed that it is not legal for Danville to test Reiger without his consent, then Danville does not possess the right to do so. It is a fact that genomics cause potential discrimination in employment and taking a blood from an individual to do tests without consent is unethical and unmoral, and it should be considered as a crime. So, Danville has no right to test Reiger without his permission. If it is not permissible in the law, then there has to be an injunction for it.
4. Now, assume that Danville's attorneys say the law is ambiguous, and that fighting a lawsuit would be expensive. How does that change your answer?
In this case, Danville should consider two things. A) Their reputation and what damage this case can do to their image B) Tradeoff between price of fighting a lawsuit and adjusting matters with Reiger. If the law is ambiguous and fighting a law suit is very expensive, Danville should make an offer to Reiger to take his case back. This would save Danville money as well as reputation. It would be a win-win situation for both. Keep in mind here we are assuming that Reiger would agree to a cost equal or greater than the cost of fighting a law suit.
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