From paternity testing to paternity tests to giant sized California paternity test, Prevalent use of paternity testing has led to questions being asked regarding the ethical nature of paternity tests. Some of these questions have been posed as a result of the 2004 Human Tissue Act.
It has never been simpler to take paternity tests, which can now be ordered online and carried out at home. Depending on whether there would be legal implications as a result of DNA testing, the person taking the test would need to have the samples identified by a medical professional; however the buccal or cheek swabs can be collected personally and sent in the post for analysis.
Although this sounds like a simple procedure, there are a significant number of issues relating to the emotional ramifications of taking suchDNA tests which experts strongly encourage those taking a paternity test to consider carefully prior to undergoing paternity testing, even urging them to seek counselling. Prior to this, the medical profession had more involvement with the taking of paternity test, but with the increased availability of such testing, it means that seeing a medical professional is no longer needed. This has raise some pertinent issues regarding the ethical use of DNA kits in the home, largely revolving around matters such as parental consent.
The Human Tissue Act of 2004 does not allow the collection of biological samples such as skin cells or saliva without the prior consent of the subject or the subject’s parent or carer. The act excludes Criminal and medical investigations, however it is apparent that without this consent, a person is not able to take DNA samples from another person for the purposes of a paternity test.
A Code of Practise has been issued by the Health Department, who set out some guidelines for paternity testing, mainly attributed to consent issues which stipulate that paternity tests are taken in the best interests of the child and all other persons involved. It is possible for a court order to override any issues regarding consent, and in many cases the court will rule in favour of the truth being proved as this is thought to be in the greater interests of the child involved.
Another issue brought about by this form of testing is the matter of privacy. It is advisable for those taking a test to ask questions regarding the labs where the tests will be carried out and where the information regarding the results is stored to protect privacy. The information produced as a result of these tests can be highly sensitive material, and it is important for subjects to have control over who sees this.
These tests are often taken for a number of reasons, including paternity suits being taken out, however since their use as home test kits, medical practitioners and experts are urging those who take them to exercise the utmost care and to take necessary precautions due to the sensitive nature of the ethical matters involved.