While scientists and bioethicists work out their relative contributions to ethical debates, both say that many of the most important issues will eventually be resolved by yet another professional group-lawyers. The regulations and policy guidelines produced by various federal panels and commissions are often largely written by lawyer members. In addition, researchers and ethicists say that, given the social and economic realities of present-day society, new laws will be needed to fully guarantee the privacy of genetic information, prevent genetic discrimination, and ensure employability and insurance coverage for carriers of genetic-disease genes.

"As it is right now, people who are at risk for Huntington's disease or at risk for breast cancer cannot get insurance," observes Nancy S. Wexler, a professor of clinical neuropsychology at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. "And that's perfectly legal in our culture. [Insurance companies] are companies that make money, and you don't make money...

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