Feeds

Cowboy DNA testers face prison terms

And you can't flog your kidney on eBay

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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.

Remote control for virtualized 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
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.