Why Are Countries Moving To Stop ‘Genetic Discrimination’ In Insurance?

Our genetics are what makes us who we are. Science Daily notes that as much as twelve percent of the human genome can have different genetic characteristics and as much as six to nineteen percent of any given chromosome in the human body. The vast number of permutations that this can offer to the human race is staggering, and it’s what makes us such a unique species. However, hard-coded into our genes are certain things that put us at risk of certain diseases. The American Cancer Society (ACS) notes that there are several different abnormal configurations of genes that are inherited across generations that increase the risk of cancer for individual families. While the transfer of these genes through hereditary has been known for a long time, it has only recently come into focus as people’s eligibility for life insurance hangs in the balance as taking tests to enlighten people about the presence of these abnormal configurations could count against an insurance company deciding to cover an individual.

What Is Genetic Discrimination?

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) defines genetic discrimination as a basis of discrimination that is rooted in the genetic makeup of a particular individual. As more and more people become aware of their genetics, companies can start using that knowledge to fuel their own decisions. In some cases, the result isn’t evil – companies can market particular products to people who have a genetic predisposition for short-sightedness built into their genes for example. In the most extreme of cases, however, this sort of discrimination can lead to people not being able to live happy, healthy lives, all because of something that they have no control over.

Ignoring the Elephants in the Room

Because of the ease of availability of genetic testing in more developed countries of the world, people can start finding out about their genetic markers and what diseases they may at risk for. This has the added benefit of allowing individuals to be forewarned of impending problems with their health that are genetically encoded. While genetic makeup can suggest the propensity of an individual acquiring a particular disease, it is far from a sure thing. However, in some industries, all one needs is the chance of something happening to make a decision that could impact a life irreparably.

The Science of Chance

According to the Journal of Insurance, both mathematics and statistics offer significant advantages to the field of insurance since they deal with helping insurers predict risk more effectively. Insurers deal with uncertainty and its impact on human life and well-being. To this end, the potential for people to develop long-term, chronic diseases or potentially fatal diseases later on in life is of utmost importance for these companies. By limiting their coverage to clients that have the potential to develop such conditions, they lower their own risk and the chance that they may have to cover treatment for those patients when they do discover that they have developed the said disease. From the business side of the equation, the idea is brilliant. However, it completely removes the most crucial part of insurance – the element of humanity.

Discrimination By Any Other Name

Human beings have come quite a long way in recognizing our shortcomings in terms of prejudice. We are still struggling in different parts of the world with equality of gender, race, and other factors. Discriminating against someone because of their genetic predisposition towards getting sick is just as bad as discriminating against someone because of their skin color. In a paper published in the journal Public Health Genomics, the author argues that the insurance industry self-regulation in Australia lacks in its application of industry standards for the use of genomic data and that more government oversight is necessary to ensure that everyone has a fair chance at being covered. In other developed parts of the world, similar situations arise that make it evident that safeguards need to be enacted to classify this sort of discrimination and to take action against companies that use it to disqualify consumers from their product.

Public Faith Hangs in the Balance

While it’s not inherently a bad thing allowing insurance companies in Toronto to have access to genomic data to inform their decisions, there needs to be a more robust safety net in place to ensure that that data doesn’t automatically disqualify an individual. Additionally, while these markers indicate a chance of a particular disease showing up, they are by no means a foolproof method of predicting the incidence of illness and should be taken as an indicator. While the premiums for individuals with these sorts of markers might be marginally higher than those without them, their presence should not immediately disqualify a customer from being insured with a company. As the industry has dropped the ball on the usage of this data, it’s up to the consumers or the government to organize to ensure that measures are taken to remove this sort of discrimination going forward. No one should have to suffer for something that they have no control over.

Why You Should Embrace Your Oddities

Have you been on a flight and someone slurped their soup loudly? Not just once, but for an entire 10 minutes. You might offer words like uncouth to describe someone’s behavior, but to them, while doing it, it is relatively normal. There are equally situations that you’ve been where someone has deemed your speech or way of doing this different or called them “weird.” If you’ve been told more than a handful of times, it is then understandable if you’re self-conscious.

Being called weird or odd has a stigma attached to it, and we’re here to pop it for you.

It doesn’t all have to be cool; we’re all flawed

While slurping soup is an extreme example, it’s okay if what makes you odd doesn’t make you stand out positively. Some narratives state that what makes you weird is a superpower. Though the aim is to encourage us, it can wrap our sense of who we are. We have amazing things about is, and we have others that we’d do well to change. Therefore, learn to distinguish the weird parts of you that are useful and make a difference, like being super flexible or intelligent. As for flaring nostrils, those make for good comedy, and that’s okay.

No one is normal

Segments from Vanity Fair and other shows have shown us that celebrities can be weird. Someone making petals with their tongue or rotting their ears are all unique qualities to have. There are those who are more honest in their socials, and let you know that they too do weird things. Their reason is that so they can relate to their fans and take themselves off a pedestal. Rest assured that even the person you admire most has some odd things about them. Therefore, there is no such thing as normal.

They remember you Imagine dealing with a family law sub professor that had the habit of tapping his pen when we laughed at his jokes. Years down the like, who will you remember more; the sub or the actual professor? Apart from being engrained in someone’s memory, it’s a fantastic feeling to know what we can become part of someone’s life through their narrative. Next time you want to muffle your quirky laugh, don’t.

It gives you more reason to practice self-acceptance

There are odd things about you that you might never be able to change; same with your flaws and weaknesses. While’s what you can do to mitigate some of them, being okay with being called weird should reinforce your self-acceptance muscle. That lets you focus on things that you do have the power to change because they matter.

Wrap up

We’re in an era where more people are speaking out against being boxed into societal molds. They are realizing that what makes us difference shouldn’t be shunned but embraced. There are too many of us walking around with low self-esteem because others made us feel out of place for aspects of us we have no control over. Take back your power by noting everything weird or odd about you and owning it.

Self-compassion: being a better friend to yourself

Self-esteem, self- awareness, confidence, and empathy are some of the words society has been familiar with for decades. These words and others are crucial when talking about personal development and how to be better to others. We get taught that we should work on and in ourselves to become better people to us and those around us. However, we rarely talk about extending the same attributes we’re to share with others to ourselves.

Compassion extended inwards

Compassion is a mix of sympathy and empathy. In one, you feel for the difficulty in which a person is experiencing walking in their shoes and the other you do walk in them. In this space, humans extend kindness, patience, understanding, pity, sensitivity, and love toward the other but rarely extend the same inward. Think of all the mistakes you’ve made: missing a typo in an important email, snapping at a friend when they didn’t meet your expectations, getting an eavestrough installation request wrong after spending hours with your husband deciding; the list is endless.

When is the last time you extended patience and kindness to yourself after making a mistake? Did you berate yourself or did you correct yourself with the kindness that you would a beloved friend?

Self-compassion for physical and mental health

From a young age, we’re taught to be harsh on ourselves. It is usually either through criticism from others that we turned inward or through hearing how those around us talked about themselves. These thoughts are not without effects on our physical and mental health. When we comfort a friend, we visibly notice their breathing slow down, they relax, and in no time a smile returns to their face. In a case where it’s not tended to, their complaining of headaches, insomnia, fatigue, stress, digestion issues among other symptoms is deemed as an effect of their bashing themselves. The very same thing happens to us.

When we adopt self-compassion in our lives, immediately our wild heart rates slow down, and our immune systems strengthened. Scientific research by neurologists and others in the field also shows our ability to see life in a rosier hue increases as the areas in our brains responsible for pleasure become increasingly active. Overall, self-compassion is the road to improved mental health as you learn to soothe yourself into wellness.

The practice

One can go about being self-compassionate in their lives. Even what feels like a perfect day can have you feeling you made mistakes. In whatever day you’re having, actively catch yourself in self-negating thoughts. Once you have, step outside yourself and talk to yourself as a loving friend would. Do it right now, and notice the difference you’ll feel immediately.

What makes paid cloud storage worthwhile?

Cloud storage has transformed how we work and access our data. At the very least the convenience of it gets its loyal fans. A person can work on their computer and after leaving the house to pick up where they left off of your phone or tablet. The ability to be able to access your files from anywhere is perhaps one of the characteristics that make the times we live in what they are.

While this feature is convenient, there is a limit to it. That then puts a person in a position where they have to decide. A company researching divorce without a lawyer and where multiple people are involved in the project will need cloud storage if people are to access the documents at any time. Therefore, here we are trying to determine if one, even on a personal level, should invest in cloud storage.

The first step to knowing if it is worth the investment is through determining if you have a stable enough internet connection too. In that way, you know that depending on what you’re working, a poor connection will not lock you out. Another aspect to look at is how often you work out of the office. We can’t always afford to take our laptop with us everywhere, and we need more convenient ways of working around that. Therefore, if you’re working on documents constantly and are on the move, having a cloud account would make more sense for you.

The other aspect that ought to encourage someone to get a paid cloud storage account is the security aspect. When you have a paid account as with everything else, you’re able to get additional features. In paid accounts, the company that you select to be your partner can accord you measures to ensure that your content is safe. That is especially so for those who work on sensitive documents and need to keep them confidential and backed up.

The payment plans for most cloud storage services are convenient, and you’re able to pay monthly or annually. Therefore, if you have high-quality content such photos, audio or video, you’re able to upload everything. The free storage given is typically 5-15 GB. With a paid account, you usually get a terabyte or more. That is about what you get with an external hard disk. The difference, however, this time is that you can access documents anywhere. Therefore, you stand to gain more by purchasing cloud storage than relying on your machine to never crash or be stolen.