Widespread use of DNA testing has led to some ethical questions being raised, some of which have been addressed by the introduction of the Human Tissue Act.

Advances in technology mean that it has never been easier to take a DNA paternity test, which can now be ordered on the Internet and taken in the comfort of your own home. Unless there are legal ramifications to the DNA test results , whereby you would need to have the identification of the samples verified by a medical professional, you can simply collect the swabs yourself and send them in the post

As simple as this process sounds, there are a number of emotional issues that one must be aware of and it is strongly encouraged that you seek counselling before undertaking a such a test. There are other issues surrounding the ethics of DNA testing. Previously, the medical profession were more involved in DNA tests; however, the ease with which one can now take a test means it is no longer necessary to involve a doctor. This raises concerns over the ethical use of the standard DNA kits mainly the issue of getting the proper parental consent.

The Human Tissue Act

The Human Tissue Act of 2004, amongst other things, forbids the unauthorised collecting of biological samples, i.e. hair, blood, cells, for DNA analysis. Medical and criminal investigations are excluded from the act, but it is clear that, without knowledge or consent, an individual cannot “steal” DNA samples from another for testing purposes.

The Health Department has issued a Code of Practice, which laid out a series of guidelines for paternity tests. These mostly concern consent issues around DNA paternity tests, keeping in mind the best interests of the child and people concerned. A court order can override any consent issues, and in most cases the court will rule in favour of exposing the truth believing this to be in the best interests of the child.

DNA Testing Privacy Issues

Another ethical issue surrounding DNA testing is the question of privacy. It is suggested that you inquire about the laboratory where your tests will be processed and information stored so that you are comfortable that your privacy is being protected. This is a very sensitive and emotional process for people and it is imperative that you alone decide who will be privy to the information.

About easyDNA

At easyDNA you will find answers to all questions regarding paternity, siblingship and legal definition. We operate through a network of offices covering a large number of countries. All our DNA test are performed by a highly accredited laboratory. Click here for more information about our home DNA paternity test


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