Feeds

Cowboy DNA testers face prison terms

And you can't flog your kidney on eBay

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Department of Health already offers a Code of Practice on Genetic Paternity Testing which calls not only for consent but also for those giving consent to be fully informed of the consequences of the test – given the irrevocable circumstances that knowledge of the test results may bring. It also expects robust measures to ensure that the identity of the provider of a sample can be established.

The Human Tissue Authority also provides a Code of Practice on consent. But it is the Human Tissue Act that introduces the offences and penalties.

OUT-LAW spoke to one DNA testing specialist, Crucial Genetics. Its labs are part of Glasgow University and its offices are based in Cheshire.

Business Development Manager Max Hamilton explained that the effect of the changes in September will be "very, very minor" for Crucial Genetics, but might be more significant for others. "Some businesses send DNA collection kits to homes," he said, pointing out that verifying consent in these circumstances is difficult.

Hamilton explained that the company only sends its kits to medical professionals and has them take the samples.

If you want Crucial Genetics to identify whether you are the parent of a child, you will be asked a series of questions about your motives and, for example, whether the child is old enough to understand the procedure.

A testing kit can be sent to your GP, if he or she has known you for three years or more - but it won't be sent to your home, Hamilton explained. The samples are taken by your GP and placed in a tamper-evident bag which is returned to the company with the signed consent forms and a photograph of you that has been signed by your GP. Hamilton said they also check the authenticity of the named GPs together with the supplied address details.

"We try as far as we can to eliminate the risk of forgery or tests being done without appropriate consent," said Hamilton.

He said the company often receives calls from spouses who request tests on a partner's underwear to detect evidence of cheating. "Lives are torn apart by that sort of thing," said Hamilton, also pointing out the difficulty of obtaining consent in these circumstances. "We're unwilling to do it."

See:

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.