Saturday, March 14, 2009

South African Law re Forensic Genetic Tests

Check this opinion piece, from the South African newspaper, The Times: Forensics bill raises ethics issues
Proposed law is not strict enough when it comes to access to people’s genetic coding, leaving this open to exploitation and abuse, writes Mary de Haas
The Criminal Law (Forensics Procedures) Amendment Bill of 2009, which includes provisions for the establishment of a national DNA database, is being marketed as an indispensable tool in the fight against crime.
But, as crucial as DNA can be in showing innocence or guilt, this bill should definitely not be passed in its present form. It does not sufficiently address issues relating to individual and family privacy, and some of its provisions are unethical. It also places far too much power in the hands of the SA Police Service without adequate oversight.


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