Select Committee on Science and Technology Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by Scottish Widows

  Scottish Widows is a provider of life assurance and investments assessing both mortality and morbidity.

  1.  Most genetic test results we have been sent have been diagnostic rather than predictive and would seem to be uncontentious and outwith the purpose of inquiry. For predictive tests we follow the ABI Code of Practice. It is felt to be desirable that the industry should take a uniformly sensitive and responsible approach to this subject. Agreeing such a code with an acknowledged expert genetic adviser and following it seems the best practice for such a rapidly changing knowledge domain with a high public interest.

  2.  We obtain our expert advice via the ABI genetic adviser, Professor Raeburn. Not considering using tests outwith those approved by GAIC we have had no need to seek scientific advice for other possible tests. If ever we desired to consider a test for some other condition this would be pursued through the ABI genetics committee for submission to GAIC.

  3.  We intend using tests as and when they are submitted to, and approved for the purpose by, GAIC.

  4.  We have no intention of submitting applications other than via the ABI. We do not consider that there are likely to be reasons for considering much wider use of test results in the foreseeable future. Any speculation on possible developments which might alter our views on this would be unhelpful. The factors on which such decisions would be based have been clearly set out in industry presentations to earlier parts of the genetic testing and insurance debate.

  5.  We do not find the current regulatory system causes any particular problems. We are compliant.

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