Dna Fingerprinting Essay

699 WordsJan 19, 20123 Pages
DNA Fingerprinting “Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the genetic blueprint of living organisms.” (Cassola, np) . DNA fingerprinting is known as DNA typing, DNA profiling, or genetic testing, which has a number of applications ranging from criminal investigations to paternity testing. Discovered in Great Britain in 1985, DNA profiling speedily became the favored way of identifying criminal suspects or a person’s relatives. Several countries have established DNA databanks. The United States, for instance, having more than 5.6 million DNA profiles of criminals, ranks the first scale in DNA databanks in the world (Cassola, np) . In 1995, Canadian parliament passed Bill C-104, which amended the Criminal Code and enabled judges to issue a warrant allowing the police to collect DNA samples from suspects for use in investigations and prosecutions (Coles; Eaton, np) . However, the development of this technology has given widespread concern about ethical problems and threatening personal privacy and civil rights. The Canadian government should restrict the range of applications of DNA, and be prudent in expanding the DNA databank. No one doubts the usefulness of DNA fingerprinting. However, there is a concern about the abuse of DNA fingerprinting. For example, it is considered an accurate and fast way to eliminate or identify persons as biological parents of a child. The problem is whether people can be forced to give DNA samples for paternity testing and who should be allowed to gather such private information. People can’t separate science from ethical questions. Another emerging issue is the possibility that the DNA databank may be accessed and used by people who are not legal officers. Since DNA profiling carries individual’s genetic information, government agencies, insurers, employers may use the DNA samples in an intrusive way. In such a situation,

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