Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-02 > 1265659743

From: "Diana Gale Matthiesen" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] CNN article: The government has your baby's DNA
Date: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 15:09:03 -0500
References: <><DD03C3B3EE7C42598367B36280CFB32B@Den>
In-Reply-To: <DD03C3B3EE7C42598367B36280CFB32B@Den>

If universal DNA testing would be beneficial for 99%, but detrimental for 1%,
the answer is not to deny the upside to the 99%, but to mitigate the downside
for the 1%.

We could prevent the tens of thousands of automobile accident deaths every year
by banning automobiles. Society has decided that the upside of having and using
automobiles is worth the very serious downside.

The upside here is worth it, too. IMO.

I wouldn't be against parents being allowed to opt their newborns out of DNA
screening, provided that if their child dies from an untreated genetic disease,
we can prosecute them for negligent homicide.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: On Behalf Of Ron Schaming
> Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 12:20 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [DNA] CNN article: The government has your baby's DNA
> I had vowed to stay out of these type discussions, but I feel that an
> example of the downside for government ownership/knowledge of
> our DNA would
> be helpful. In this case, the info that the government had
> was of a medical
> condition from military service. This became known when the
> reason for
> leaving the military was asked by major, Fortune 500 companies for
> evaluation of employment applications. Even though jobs had
> been offered in
> writing and accepted after completing MBA studies, each one of five
> companies retracted their offer and refused employment. Since
> then federal
> laws were passed which prevent the use of medical history or
> records in
> making employment decisions.
> DNA can be misused in the same way and will be misused with
> increasing
> frequency as research discovers the combinations which
> describe future
> conditions which could cost a corporation significant
> insurance dollars or
> lose the years spent developing candidates for upper level
> positions. I see
> the many benefits that we can obtain from DNA research but I
> also see the
> potential for misuse of that same information. If a misuse
> can happen, it
> will and the only question is when it will be misused. It
> isn't a question
> of trust, or even a positive cost benefit analysis. If 99% of
> the results of
> DNA research/data are beneficial to the public as a whole,
> that remaining 1%
> misuse is sufficient reason to disallow the DNA being shared.
> Because if YOU
> are part of that 1% it is 100% for you. Since when have we
> allowed the loss
> of the protection of US citizenship for 1% of the population.
> Controls (laws and regulations with oversight and punishment)
> for the proper
> use of DNA must be established that will prevent misuse
> before DNA should be
> allowed to be collected and stored for a potential unspecified future
> purpose targeting the population at large or individuals who have not
> committed a crime. Yes, it should be allowed for criminal
> investigation.
> People committing crimes should not be protected from the
> consequences of
> their actions because of privacy rights. These simple goals
> are the criteria
> that all proposed processes which use DNA should recognize
> and meet. The
> many detailed uses we discussed here need to considered in
> the light of
> pre-determined and agreed upon criteria that will protect the
> public as a
> whole and individuals from misuse of any kind.
> BTW, soldiers provide a DNA containing sample for the
> singular purpose of
> their remains identification which will allow their family
> members to have
> closure in the event their remains are not visually
> identifiable. The sample
> is not analyzed for it's DNA until a need occurs as it is
> solely a "just in
> case" sample.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Asparagirl" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, February 08, 2010 1:34 AM
> Subject: Re: [DNA] CNN article: The government has your baby's DNA
> > Some people on the list bizarrely seem to be overlooking
> the issue of
> > INFORMED CONSENT. Yes, genetic testing of infants to
> prevent horrible
> > diseases is an eminently noble cause. But to do it in such
> a way that
> > 1) the parents are never informed it is happening (as we are for the
> > in-hospital vaccines, the in-hospital hearing test, etc.), 2) the
> > parents cannot choose to opt-out, and 3) the child's DNA is
> > automatically banked in perpetuity with the government-run
> lab instead
> > of being destroyed after all the tests are over -- all of
> these things
> > can and should be changed!
> >
> > Look, I have no problem letting my own genetic foibles hang
> out in the
> > wind for everyone to see; I uploaded my mtDNA results in
> GenBank,. for
> > example. I can count three direct-to-consumer companies and two
> > non-profit groups that have my spit sample on file. But I
> am an adult
> > and can reasonably make that decision for myself. But why should my
> > child, who was born in 2007, have his DNA sample sit in a
> > state-controlled database potentially for the rest of life with no
> > notification, no consent, no legal way for me to now to ask them to
> > please delete his sample? Why are these samples now being used as
> > research material for the US government, even if done anonymously or
> > in the aggregate? How will anonymous medical information obtained
> > from these samples be used? Will they be used for the
> public good, or
> > to help private companies who may create drugs or
> treatments that will
> > be patented, creating profit off the literal blood of the
> public? Who
> > or what is the regulatory group that oversees each of these state
> > labs? And why is a throw-away article on the first
> time I've
> > ever heard about all this?
> >
> > And those of you who are in the Armed Forces and have had your DNA
> > banked already would do well to remember that you, as an adult, had
> > the CHOICE to enter into your profession -- and if I am not
> mistaken,
> > you even had the CHOICE to bank your DNA or not, as it is not
> > mandatory for non-front-line troops to submit a blood sample. This
> > same choice is not being extended to the parents in this
> country, nor
> > by extension to the children who information is on file,
> some of whom
> > are only a few years away from adulthood.
> >
> > We are talking about millions of DNA samples; laissez-faire
> won't cut
> > it here. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
> >
> >
> > - Brooke Schreier Ganz
> > Los Angeles, California
> >
> > -------------------------------
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