October 20, 2010

Statement on the Death of Paul Miller

“Affected by a form of genetic dwarfism, Paul Miller was a man of unusually short stature—but he was a giant in his contributions to the fight against discrimination of all sorts. He was disarmingly personable and capable of the most hilarious one-liners, but he was a powerful warrior in the battle to put an end to genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment in the United States. Paul once wrote an article entitled “Is there a pink slip in your genes?” to bring attention to the risk of individuals losing their jobs if information about their future health risks were disclosed. And the persistence paid off: after more than a decade of frustration, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act was finally signed into law in 2008. Paul was one of its biggest heroes.

Paul was a dedicated husband and father. He was a man of prodigious intellect and unabashed passion in fighting for justice for people with disabilities. And he was my friend. I will miss him terribly.”

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.,
Director, National Institutes of Health