DNA issues

Some confirmation of something those of us working on DNA issues have long suspected:

Police officers in England and Wales have made arrests just to get people on to the DNA database, a retired police superintendent has claimed. He told the Human Genetics Commission (HGC) this was the “norm”. It wants new guidance for police to regulate when it is appropriate to take a sample of DNA

On the subject of the HGC, they currently have a consultation out on the development of a code of practice for the supply of DIY gene-testing kits. This is a particularly thorny issue where children are concerned: should a parent have the right to consent on a child’s behalf to gene-testing that is purely for ‘recreational’ purposes, rather than because of medical necessity? The HGC suggests:

p12 5.10 With the exception of paternity tests, genetic tests in respect of children when, according to applicable law, that child does not have capacity to consent should normally be deferred until the attainment of such capacity, unless other factors indicate that testing during childhood is clinically indicated. If postponement would be detrimental to the child’s health, or the management of the child’s health may be altered significantly depending on the test result, then testing should be organised by a genetics health professional who has responsibility for ensuring that any medical intervention or screening indicated will be arranged and proper arrangements made for any subsequent care.

To our minds, this doesn’t go nearly far enough. ‘Capacity’ is only one factor in obtaining a child’s consent; in order to be valid, consent must also be informed and voluntary. We will be addressing this in our response to the consultation.

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3 Responses to DNA issues

  1. Mrs Angela Thomas says:

    Help. My 14 year old son has had a false accusation made against him by a policemans wife. He voluntered
    to come to the police station and make a statement. He was then photograped, fingerprinted and had DNA removed but he has not been charged with any offense.
    What is going on in our society when innocent children are madeto feel like criminals?

  2. archrights says:

    For help in getting your son’s DNA off the National DNA Database, you might find this site helpful: http://reclaimyourdna.org/

  3. […] law enforcement databases… that is for those of you that are proved innocent. Here is more posting from ARCH Rights on the dubious collection of DNA by Britain’s law enforcement, and a link to […]

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