Insulin in Court

A few weeks ago, we wrote about an airline’s plans to bump plus-size passengers off full flights or require them to purchase two seats (“‘United’ in Discrimination?”[1]) and received a record number of comments from readers. This week, another form of discrimination is in the news because — thanks to a court victory by the American Diabetes Association[2] (ADA) — it has been declared illegal.

As the ADA’s Diabetes Forecast reports[3], a federal jury has ruled that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) illegally discriminated against Jeff Kapche, a Fort Bend County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department detective who applied to be an FBI Special Agent, by not hiring him because he takes insulin[4] injections for his diabetes. The FBI policy had been to require Special Agents who need insulin to use an insulin pump[5] because of “the unpredictable nature of the job.” Lawyers for the ADA argued that “each person with diabetes should be judged based on his or her merits,” and that the FBI’s policy ignored medical evidence regarding insulin injections as well as Kapche’s record of successful diabetes management.


What do you think — should people with diabetes celebrate this ruling? Was the FBI’s position on insulin unreasonable? Are there any jobs for which discrimination based on diabetes or insulin use should be allowed? Leave a comment below!

  1. “‘United’ in Discrimination?”:
  2. American Diabetes Association:
  3. Diabetes Forecast reports:
  4. insulin:
  5. insulin pump:

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