Copyright (c) 2011 The Trustees of Boston University
Boston University Law Review
ARTICLE: DNA THEFT: RECOGNIZING THE CRIME OF NONCONSENSUAL GENETIC COLLECTION AND TESTING
Tulane Law Review
91 B.U.L. Rev. 665
Elizabeth E. Joh*
The fact that you leave genetic information behind on discarded tissues, used coffee cups, and smoked cigarettes everywhere you go is generally of little consequence. Trouble arises, however, when third parties retrieve this detritus of everyday life for the genetic information you have left behind. These third parties may be the police, and the regulation over their ability to collect this evidence is unclear. 1
The police are not the only ones who are interested in other people's genetic information. Consider:
. The political party that is interested in discovering and publicizing any predispositions to disease that might render a presidential candidate of the opposing party unsuitable for office. 2
. An historian who wishes to put to rest rumors about those who claim to be the illegitimate descendants of a former president but refuse to submit to genetic testing. 3
. A professional sports team that wants to analyze the genetic information of a prospective player, despite his protests, to screen for risks of fatal health conditions before offering him a multi-million dollar contract. 4
. An individual's personal enemy who would be thrilled to analyze the genetic information of his target and post information on the internet about the target's likelihood of becoming an alcoholic, a criminal, or obese. 5
. A wealthy grandparent who suspects that a grandchild is not genetically related to her and plans to disinherit him if that is the case. 6
. A person involved in a romantic relationship who ...
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