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TitleInformed consent in forensic DNA databases: volunteering, constructions of risk and identity categorization
Author(s)Machado, Helena
Silva, Susana
KeywordsForensic DNA Databases
Informed Consent
Issue date2009
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CitationMachado, H., & Silva, S. (2009). Informed consent in forensic DNA databases: Volunteering, constructions of risk and identity categorization. BioSocieties, 4, 335–348
Abstract(s)In this article we aim to expand the traditional ethical issues related to the use and storage of genetic information in forensic DNA databases by exploring the Portuguese practices of informed consent in the context of DNA sample collection for forensic processing. This article focuses on three interrelated domains: the practice of volunteering to contribute to the Portuguese forensic DNA database; the portfolio of risks presented to DNA donors; and the ethical implications of requesting donors’ ethnic group among their personal data. We argue that the Portuguese forensic DNA database is an interesting case study to re-focus the ethical debate on the implications of collecting genetic information, elucidating how this activity reconfigures interpersonal relations and social hierarchy, the power of legal medicine and criminal justice, and the social construction of personal autonomy, privacy and individual rights. The practices of informed consent need to incorporate answers to risks and uncertainties posed by collecting DNA samples and DNA profiling in forensic genetic databases.
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AccessRestricted access (Author)
Appears in Collections:CECS - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Articles in international journals

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