No Genetic Discrimination Against Canadians with Parkinson's or Cancer

Anyone who's suffered from Parkinson's disease or who's watched a loved one suffer from Parkinson's knows the devastation this illness can bring. It's a movement disorder, and it impairs motor skills and can silence speech. In worst cases, it can render the sufferer completely unable to move.

The last thing anyone who has Parkinson's or who is at risk for the disease should face is discrimination from insurance companies and employers. Genetic discrimination is a present and growing problem in Canada. It harms all citizens, especially those who have or who are at risk to develop diseases like Parkinson's and it creates a crippling fear for everyone in the country. Some Canadians may delay or decline testing out of fear for how their insurance companies and employers may react if they are diagnosed with Parkinson's or are found to be at risk.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and most of the European Union have taken active steps to make sure people are not discriminated based on their likelihood of developing diseases like Parkinson's, and it's time Canada did the same. Urge the Canadian government to pass legislation to stop genetic discrimination.

Dear [Decision Maker],

Individual genetic make-up may put some people at a higher risk of being afflicted by diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, or cancer -- but the last thing these people need is to face systematic, legal discrimination from insurance companies and employers. Genetic discrimination is unfair and unjust, and it's a real and growing issue in Canada.

Not only does the issue result in tangible discrimination, but it also creates a crippling fear among Canadian citizens. For people who have family members with diseases like Parkinson's, there may come a time when genetic testing is important for their health and wellbeing -- but many delay or decline testing out of fear for how their insurance companies and employers may react.

[Your comment will be inserted here.]

Globally, Canada has fallen behind many other nations in addressing this issue. The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and most of the European Union have already taken steps to eliminate genetic discrimination. It is time that Canadians moved to correct this situation.

I urge you to support this motion and to pass legislation that stops genetic discrimination.
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