DNA profiling plays an important role in tackling crime. The police rightly have the powers to collect DNA samples during criminal investigations and use this evidence in court. However, there are important questions about the extent to which DNA samples and profiles should be kept indefinitely as part of the forensic DNA database.Complete thesis(PDF) is available for download.
Summary of Ethical, Social and Legal Concerns of Forensic DNA Database Thesis:
This qualitative research is designed to study the ethical, social and legal concerns pertaining to the establishment of a forensic DNA database in Pakistan. Although Pakistan is using DNA profiling to solve the criminal investigations but still there is no definite DNA legislation or DNA database available. Two government bodies, viz. the National Forensic Science Agency (NFSA) and the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA), are looking forward to work in this regard. In this study we presented a broad spectrum of ethical and legal concerns that were faced by the countries who had established their DNA databases. We also carried out a survey in order to find out the view point of Pakistani population regarding the DNA database in general and in particular to its establishment in Pakistan. The subjects of our survey included forensic scientists, lawyers, policemen, administrators, teachers and students (graduate and post-graduates). Our survey revealed that although there is a wave of awareness regarding the significance of DNA database but still there is a doubt to the secure nature of such a database at Pakistan. Therefore, it should be the utmost priority of the forensic workers, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary to formulate such a scheme for the establishment of a DNA database in Pakistan that not only protect the civil rights of the citizens of Pakistan but also ensure that such a database could not be manipulated by the anti-social elements. This study is a pioneer work for bringing the ethical and social concerns of the society of Pakistan in front of the authorities that are linked with the establishment of DNA database of Pakistan.
At Pakistan, there is a great need to bring balance between the rights of the individual and the interests of the public. While there is no doubt that society does have an interest in the detection and prevention of crime, this cannot be used to justify every infringement of the individual’s right to privacy and the loss of our civil liberties. This is especially true for people who are not found guilty of any crime.