New rules benefit cancer survivors

Cancer survivors welcome ‘right to be forgotten’

'Right to be forgotten' means cancer survivors will no longer have to tell insurers or loan companies they had disease

LONG-TERM cancer survivors will soon no longer have to inform insurers or loan companies in France that they had treatment for the disease, after MPs approved their “right to be forgotten”.

The right to be forgotten - one of the flagship measures of President Francois Hollande’s third ‘cancer plan’ unveiled in 2014 - will benefit all former patients who have been cancer-free for 15 years, regardless of the type of cancer they suffered.

Some will be able to ‘forget’ their cancer after a shorter period, as a sliding scale will be developed and regularly updated indicating the types of the disease for which a shorter delay will be accepted.

Meanwhile, anyone who had the disease as a child under the age of 15 will not have to inform insurers or loan agencies five years after their treatment ends, the new law states.

MPs also voted for an amendment extending the right to be forgotten "to diseases other than cancer, including chronic diseases,” as medical treatments and patients’ life expectancies improve.

"It cannot be acceptable that a person with HIV or suffering from hepatitis, diseases which require daily long-term treatment, should be discriminated against, as treatments against these diseases now allow to them benefit live near-normal lives," the authors of the amendment said.

Jacqueline Godet, president of the League Against Cancer welcomed the new protocol, saying it would remove the “criminal record of cancer patients”

"This protocol is a very strong signal that will soften a little the lives of those who suffer or have suffered from cancer," she said.

Photo: Richard Ying & Tangui Morlier / Wikimedia Commons

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