Chile prohibits discrimination against mutants and genetically altered people

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Law 21.422 published on Wednesday, February 16, prohibits “employment discrimination against mutations or alterations of genetic material.” The provision establishes the mechanisms to carry out “genetic tests”.

By Claudio Fabián Guevara

By law, Chile prohibits discriminating against mutants and genetically altered people. The curious regulation was presented by Senator Alejandro Navarro Brain, approved unanimously and published in the official gazette on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.

Law No. 21.422 prohibits labor discrimination against mutations or alterations of genetic material, and in turn “prohibits demanding any certificate or test to verify that the worker does not have such alterations or mutations in his human genome.

The rule establishes that “no employer may condition the hiring of workers, their permanence or the renewal of their contract, or the promotion or mobility in their employment, to the absence of mutations or alterations in their genome.”

The law also establishes:

  • The worker may express his free and informed consent to undergo a genetic test.
  • If these exams are required by the employer, the latter must assume their cost.
  • Health establishments and laboratories that carry out this type of examination, as well as employers that access this information, must adopt all security measures, in order to protect the privacy of the worker and guarantee confidential handling of the data.
  • The worker will always have the right to access the information revealed by a genetic test.

Mutants, “human persons” and other categories

Why does Chile prohibit discrimination against mutants and genetically altered people? Who are these people and what is the rationale behind the need for this provision? What new trend justifies this initiative?

The Chilean law recalls the also curious Argentine legislation of last year, which cites the rights of “human persons.” Chinda Brandolino has pointed out that this is the legal prelude to a distinction between “human persons” and “transhuman persons”. Genetically modified people, says Brandolino, will belong to the owners of the technology and will not have the same rights as “human” people.

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