For more than 20 years, the armed forces have held a policy that specifically denies disability benefits to servicemen and women with congenital or hereditary conditions. The practice would be illegal in almost any other workplace.Yet another example of how poorly the administration treats its military servicemen and women. The scandal at Walter Reed Army hospital, the extended tours of duty, ignoring PTSD and mental illness in returning soldiers - after all they experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, they deserve better than this.
There is one exception, instituted in 1999, that grants benefits to personnel who have served eight years.
"You could be in the military and be a six-pack-a-day smoker, and if you come down with emphysema, 'That's OK. We've got you covered,' " said Kathy Hudson, director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University."But if you happen to have a disease where there is an identified genetic contribution, you are screwed."
Sunday, August 19, 2007
The Los Angeles Times has an excellent piece on genetic discrimination. While in most cases, this type of discrimination is banned in the United States, the military is able to use it to deny disability and medical benefits to veterans.