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The Profiling And The Underrepresented Ethical Issues In DNA

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Question:

Discuss about the Ethical Issues of Having National DNA Profiling  ?
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The world is changing regarding technological Mangement advancement to solve problems that could previously be assumed. The strides taken in the field of information communication and technology clearly shows how work is made easier as compared to the traditional methods employed to solve the same issues. The Australia, for instance, has been on the forefront of advancement of DNA profiling technology and this has assisted in the fight against crime. There has been a proposition for this concern due to the increased disadvantages arising from adopting that system.

In fact, the National DNA profiling has significantly impacted on the lives of people more so when accidents and criminal acts are experienced. Moreover, lost people have been found and their identity established. Therefore the move relatively seems to be fruitful although it still faces some challenges that are yet to be established. Therefore in-depth analysis of National DNA profiling and the current controversies are bound to shed light on the subject.

Ethical analysis of having National DNA profiling

Familial search

The DNA profiling enhances in the familial searching. The DNA process involved in search of a family member is enabled due to the analysis of the facts underlying the DNA strand. The DNA is composed of repetitive sections called the short tandem repeats (STRs) (Smith & Mann, 2015). These parts are distinct among the individuals, and their repetitive nature dictates how easy the identification of the person is to be conducted. The right thing with the DNA is that there is the demonstration of genetic relationship when the STR sections are analyzed. This is because these parts are shared among the family members. Biologically, it is true that the parents share a half of their STRs with their children, therefore, forming the basis for familial searching. Also, there the familial searching is conducted to identify the individual during crime investigations (Smith & Mann, 2015). In several cases, robbers are involved in the direct shooting with the police, a situation that might result in death. If the criminal is gunned down the DNA is conducted, and the probabilistic nature of the system is credible to show the familial relationships that might exist between the criminal and the identified relative. The evidence at the crime scene may not be enough to yield positive results, but there is a possibility of a fruitful investigation if the partial match is identified from a little sample obtained from that particular scene.

 

Kinship conformation

Relationship matching has been enabled by the National DNA profiling whereby the process has made it possible to identify the relatives of the victims of airplane crashes and other severe forms of accidents. Moreover there time consumed to determine the bodies of the victims is reduced. For instance, the plane crash that occurred in Malaysia in 2014 was one of the greatest disasters due to the increased cases of family members missing their relatives (Wallace, Jackson, Gruber & Thibedeau, 2014). This was contributed by the intensity of the accident which tore apart the dedicated members making it impossible to recognize them. All in there were family members who took a long time before their relatives were found. Through the application of DNA profiling, kinship matching bore positive results, and within a few days, all the bodies had been identified and matched with their relatives.

Mitochondrial DNA

The Mitochondria DNA profiling is essential in the identification of the sibling and other family members. The mitochondria are well known for the part they play in the production of energy. Because these mitochondria are inherent, that is, they are transmitted through birth; it is possible to form the basis for identification (Yourgenome, 2015). This profiling technology is applicable in the cases of fire where the victims are reduced to bones. The advantage of this system is that the mitochondria are born in the bone marrow thereby implying that a small sample of the bone marrow is bound to yield tangible evidence. Another advantage of the DNA profiling is the fact that it goes to the extent of identifying the ethnic and physical aspect of the victim (Willis, 2013). This is essential to simplify the procedure of investigating the geographic ancestry of the victim. In short, the interested members can be identified with their places of origin, therefore, saving the countries a lot of resources that could have been used to make unending follow-ups of the victim.

Diseases identification

The National DNA profiling has also been a key player in the determination of susceptibility of certain individuals to contract some serious illness. This has helped the Medicare researchers to up their game in implementation and formulation of strategies aimed at discovering new drugs to treat such diseases. There DNA profiling has also assisted in tracing some ailments to a given family and dictating how the disease can be transmitted to the other members of the society (Michael, 2010). The public health has improved as a result of the applicability of the DNA system because solutions to some ailments have been found.

 

Controversial Ethical issues of National DNA profiling

Limited autonomy

The controversy arises where the DNA profiling interferes with the freedom of the victims. The involved members are faced with the problems of exercising their self-esteem aspect of life more so if the DNA testing is not controlled (Williams & Johnson, 2006). For instance, the public health providers abuse the right to independence of individual patients. In this case, when the testing is conducted it is the mandate of the patient to specify how the results are supposed to be handled. Self-freedom is denied where the resulting tests are not presented to the patient to make a final decision on the issue. By neglecting this right, patients are exposed to a world of rejection after the relatives learn of the seriousness of the disease (Sadler, 2012). The need to include the concerned members in decision making is crucial since it prevents the victim from harassment and inadequate treatments by the nurses after realizing the disease is incurable.

Incomplete information

The issue of conducting the DNA testing to the victims without informing them of the benefit of the process is killing our generation. In public health, there is a tendency of the medical providers to conceal the information concerning the purpose of DNA profiling (Beemsterboer, 2010). Conversely, the patients end up retaliating in an attempt to understand the reason behind conducting such a process. Instead of the doctors to come down and explain the benefits associated with the process, they end up leaving the patients untreated and confused. Moreover, it is against the wishes of the interested members to allow the removal of body tissues without having prior knowledge of the treatment (Buckleton, Bright & Taylor, 2016). Therefore the doctors and other related parties should create a conducive environment for the patients to understand the reason for treatment instead of leaving them unattended after retaliation.

Probabilistic Results

The criminal investigation department uses the DNA testing on the ground of probability, therefore, proving the method inefficient. In connection with this issue, there arise cases where the victim’s DNA profile closely matches that one of other people. The resulting action by the police is to arrest the innocent individuals who are sentenced life imprisonments. This implies that the DNA evidence is not perfect enough to depend on thereby recommending for the search of extra information concerning the victim to serve as the basis for evidence. The Medicare providers and health researcher are known to interfere with the results of DNA evidence (Gowrishankar & Nandineni, 2016). This is mostly caused by the malicious doctors who do not keenly observe the procedure regarding the DNA testing. This ends up illustrating poor results concerning the patient. This further exposes the patient to reduced medication that might cause death. There is an inclusion of corruption by the police. Therefore, the results can be incredible.

Discrimination

The ability of the DNA testing to define the ethnic group of the victims substantially supports discrimination. The bias extends to the judgment decision that might be legally inappropriate but applicable by a mere mention of the ethnic group of the victim. In most cases, there have been reports detailing the harsh treatment of the victims in prison and the health sectors (Enzinger et al., 2016). Moreover, the career perspective of the victim is bound to be affected if the private details of the employee are exposed. Also, there is a possibility of the involved parties to be sacked if some of the DNA results are released to the employers and other members of the public. For example, cancer and people living with HIV are assumed to weak and incapable of delivering quality and efficient work irrespective of the antiretroviral that boosts their morale and health. The sharing of the DNA profiles of the countries can result to information hacking hence proving the results not genuine.

Four Ethical Theories

Utilitarianism theory

The Consequentialism (utilitarianism) theory posits that the effectiveness or the ineffectiveness of an individual action should be measured regarding the results that action produces. It acknowledges Mnagement fundamental function of pleasure and pain in human life. For example, taking DNA profile for a willing person brings more pleasure to that individual but a lot of pain is created from the process after the same person is wrongly convicted of crime. The theory goes on to highlight that the results of the action should be that one which yields the greatest happiness (Gill, 2001). This method results to two principles that focus on the social utility and that it should be measured regarding happiness produced. In connection to the DNA profiling, the activity should be conducted to fit the will if the people. That is, it should be carried out by the individuals who have the victims’ consideration in mind to ensure healthy living for all.

Deontology theory

The deontology (duty-based) theory explains the rightness or wrongness of particular actions without regard of the badness or goodness of the consequences. Immanuel Kant supports his postulation that morality is laid on the ground of the obligations that people have on one another (Gill & Werrett, 1985). This means that the responsible parties in a given service department are supposed to carry out their duties effectively without being forced or manipulated with money. As a rule, various actions are right or wrong in themselves irrespective of the repercussions .This is because they exposed to the working environment that does not support any corruption, therefore serving people rightly should be their key concern. In brief, achieving desirable results and promotion of happiness are no way connected to the morality. With regards to the DNA testing profile, the victims should not practice corruptive methods to have their grievances met; instead, they should pressurize the investigation team to act rightly as per the expectation of the morality code of ethics. The healthcare providers are also cautioned to execute their duties accordingly without bias as a result of DNA testing and cultivate the fruits of righteousness for the benefits of every individual.

 

Social contract-based theory

Social contract-based theory illustrates that morality is enhanced through contractual agreements between the people. According to Thomas, Hobbes people are expected to behave positively due to the advantage provided by the agreement (Gill et al., 1997). The set rules involve the key players hence there must be an inclusion of grievances of these players and achievement of their wishes so as to lay the background from which motivation is found. About the DNA profiling system, the criminal investigation department is mandated with the responsibilities of giving incentives and allowances to the interested groups to conduct their duties in a transparent manner in ensuring credible results. The public health also should meet the needs of the Medicare providers to motive them to work positively. There also should be close monitoring of these individuals to ensure they conform to the rules pertaining patients care.

Character based theory

Character based ethical theories postulate that the nature of a person is dependent on the nature of the individual to acquire viable traits as they grow. These traits are learned through training consequently enabling the individual to be courageous and live well. An upright person is the one who is motivated to do right things. Concerning DNA profiling, the investigation officers can not only be motivated by the set rules and incentives but also the central character if an individual (Jobling & Gill, 2004). If they were born and grew on the grounds of low social motives, no way they can be friendly and neutral to some issues. In short, there is a promising future for the nurses and the police departments to exercise morality on good will by intensive training. Moreover, such departments should always absorb those participants who have recorded good prerequisite behaviors and recommendations.

Australian Computer Society Code of Ethics (ACS)

Honesty

The declaration of honesty entails honest representation of skills, products, services and knowledge. It highlights that the interested person should not knowingly perform any misleading act to the clients for any favor. It further enables someone to give realistic estimates of any the project at the disposal (Leicester, N. (2016). It also cautions someone not to misrepresent personal knowledge and in turn allow professional opinions based on limited experience. Conclusively, by incorporating all the elements mentioned above of honesty, National DNA profiling procedures are expected to yield positive results.

 

Conclusion

All in all, the dilemma masking the National DNA profile system has been analyzed. It is worth noting that the DNA profiling is crucial and should be accorded reasonable attention. Briefly, the process should be conducted in a free and fair manner to enhance healthy living for every citizen

Recommendations

The healthcare sector should positively respond to the rights of the patients and none of them should be omitted. The nation should lead its citizens in campaign against ethnicity and corruption. By doing so results of the DNA tests should bring integration rather than separation of people.

 

References

Beemsterboer, P. (2010). Ethical decision making. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, 8(6), 78-81.

Buckleton, J. S., Bright, J. A., & Taylor, D. (Eds.). (2016). Forensic DNA evidence interpretation. CRC press.Concepts.

Enzinger, E., Morrison, G. S., Ochoa, F., De Wael, K., Lepot, L., Lunstroot, K., & Gason, F. (2016). Advances in plant genomics have had an impact on the field of forensic botany. However, the use of pollen DNA profiling in forensic investigations has yet to be applied. Five volunteers wore a jacket with Pinus echinata pollen-containing cotton swatches for a 14-day period. Pollen decay was evaluated at days 0, 3, 6, 9 and 14 by microscopy. Pollen grains were then transferred to slides using a portable... Science & Justice, 56(1), 29-34.

Gill, P. (2001). Application of low copy number DNA profiling. Croatian medical journal, 42(3), 229-232.

Gill, P., Brinkmann, B., d'Aloja, E., Andersen, J., Bar, W., Carracedo, A., ... & Kloosterman, A. D. (1997). Considerations from the European DNA profiling group (EDNAP) concerning STR nomenclature. Forensic Science International, 87(3), 185-192.

Gill, P., Jeffreys, A. J., & Werrett, D. J. (1985). Forensic application of DNA ‘fingerprints’. Nature, 318(6046), 577-579.

Gowrishankar, J., & Nandineni, M. R. (2016). Forensic science: Why India is rooting for its DNA identification Act. logy, 29.

Jobling, M. A., & Gill, P. (2004). Encoded evidence: DNA in forensic analysis. Nature Reviews Genetics, 5(10), 739-751.

Leicester, N. (2016). Ethics in the IT Profession: Does a Code of Ethics have an Effect on Professional Behaviour?.Criminal Justice, (506), 1-7.

Michael, K. (2010, June). The legal, social and ethical controversy of the collection and storage of fingerprint profiles and DNA samples in forensic science. In Technology and Society (ISTAS) Management, 2010 IEEE International Symposium on (pp. 48-60). IEEE.

 Sadler, G. B. (2012). Jeremy Bentham Utilitarianism and The Hedonic Calculus - Philosophy Core

Smith, M. & Mann, M. (2015). Recent developments in DNA evidence. Trends and Issues in Crime and

Wallace, H.M., Jackson, A.R., Gruber, J. & Thibedeau, A.D. (2014). Forensic DNA databases–Ethical andlegal standards: A global review. Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences (4), 57–63.

 Williams, R. & Johnson, P. (2006). Effectiveness and Intrusiveness: Issues in the Developing Usesof DNA Profiling in Support of Criminal Investigations. J Law Med Ethics, 33(3), 545–558.

Willis, P. (2013). Your Genetic Profile: Ethics and Legal issues.

Yourgenome  (2015). Is it ethical to have a national DNA database?

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