The Instigator
CircleOfLife98
Con (against)
Tied
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The Contender
erickmrivera79
Pro (for)
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DNA Databases/ Profiling

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/10/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 370 times Debate No: 52201
Debate Rounds (5)
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CircleOfLife98

Con

DNA databases are used worldwide to keep track of people who have or possibly could commit crimes. The government takes DNA samples from people and their data is kept for up to 30 years. After that time, the police should delete the data but usually do not. This causes ethical problems as well as legal problems. According to Carracedo, Professor Angel, "People can be linked to crimes with no apparent connections because of genetics." There are many ethical and legal problems with DNA profiling and databases. The analysis of the DNA on file can show researched genes that may link a person to a crime although the person may not even know about the crime. People may refuse to have their DNA taken at the scene of a crime. At that point, the person may be seen as guilty for refusing the tests. People have the right to refuse the tests according to the Constitution with human rights. According to the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure, which came into effect on September 1, 1994, "the test is allowed without consent of the person when it is at the scene of a crime." How would you feel if that were you being tested for a crime in which you did not commit and you cannot say no? People should have the right to say no according to the Colorado consent law that states that a person must be 16 to give legal consent for medical procedures and testing. Those are some of the legal and ethical problems with DNA databases.
erickmrivera79

Pro

What is DNA database? DNA databases contain many peoples DNA information. This databases can be used in the analysis of genetic diseases, genetic fingerprinting for criminology, or genetic genealogy. With DNA from over 5 million people on the police"s national DNA database, DNA profiling has proved to be valuable tool for solving crimes. Such as finding kids that have been abducted or kidnapped. In England in 2010 your DNA profile is taken whether you are guilty or even if you are found not guilty. With this being said, many people are agreeing to the fact that DNA databases helps with profiling the people of this world.
Debate Round No. 1
CircleOfLife98

Con

One can argue that the databases can help with solving crimes. I agree that it can help get a lead, but the people are not always guilty and most do not have a say in what the government is taking from them. As mentioned in my argument above, there is a problem with the consent of individuals when their DNA is taken. According to the Hastings Center, the US has the world's largest database for DNA. Most are from criminals, but a lot of the DNA belongs to individual citizens that were held for crimes. In 1988, Colorado became the first state to require DNA from people that were likely to commit a crime. This information was determined by certain genes that would most likely lead to certain people having problems. The DNA is taken, but even if the person is found innocent, their data stays in the database. In 2006, people decided to have consent for any person that was having their DNA taken. The consent of a person is necessary because once you give up your own information, the government has all access. How would you feel if you had to give up your DNA and the government would not release it even after you were proven innocent and did not give consent to what was being asked of you?
erickmrivera79

Pro

Why is this such a concern? Yes you do have your human rights, but having your DNA could help to some leading causes. Also why does it matter whether or not your DNA is kept after a trial in court. If you do have a gene that pertains to some criminals, why does it matter? Yeah, they might be on the look out for you, but if you know you are not going to have an issue with having it why is it that you would care or anyone else?
Debate Round No. 2
CircleOfLife98

Con

You asked why it matters if you have your DNA kept and you also stated that the DNA can lead to many leading causes. What kind of causes can be lead to with having your DNA kept by a judge for 30 years? If your DNA is kept for up to 30 years, you can be turned down for jobs, houses you wish to buy, and you cannot carry a concealed weapon. After the DNA is taken, the person is on radar for anything that involves a background check. Do you ever wonder about the government hacking your information or never letting it go? According to pbs.org, the government has access to you DNA as soon as it is put on file. This means that the government will always know who you are based on genetics or who you were accused of being. When the government is allowed to track a person based on genetics, they will control that person and their everyday life. For example, trying out for a job is always hard, right? Now think of it if you had your DNA on file for matching a convicted felon"s DNA. That makes it easier for others to turn the job offer down because you are matched to another person"s crimes worldwide for up to 30 years. The government is aware of their own control, but will keep it from the people in order for the database to thrive. More studies show that mitochondrial DNA should be used since it provides information outside the cell. This means that it can be used and be more precise. Having more precise DNA can lead to less confusion from the government and police trying to prove you guilty of a crime that you did not commit.
erickmrivera79

Pro

DNA databases can help with the loss of children. If a person were to abduct a child or if the child were to run away, we could find them. Since we have everybody' s DNA we would be able to find out what the child looks like and what the child can look like in a certain amount of years. Also if the child were to be abducted we could also figure out who the abductor is by using the DNA that has been found from the area of which the crime took place, and by using the DNA databases we would figure out who was the person who had abducted the child. This is very helpful in society. We could help those families that have went through this tragedy. We can keep them up to date with the progress we made instead of leaving them, and they not knowing whether their family member can be found or not.
Debate Round No. 3
CircleOfLife98

Con

You stated that the DNA on file could help find abducted children and who the kidnapper was. Yes it can help with identifying the child, but many people can match that description as I had mentioned above. This could mean that many people are brought in and most will be charged until they can figure out who the real kidnapper was. According to Alan Travis of theguardian.com, "the current system "violates privacy rights" but judges have not ordered immediate change, as the new legislation is passed." This means that new laws are being made to control the system of databases, but judges in court systems have the official right to not follow those laws depending on the court case. All states allow DNA data to be used by law enforcement. This means that now, the information is used by the government and law enforcement personnel. According to "DNA Profiles of Those Wrongly Convicted", in 1997, two men were released from prison after their DNA proved them innocent. The police on the case kept the data on file which gives the judge the right to view and use their data again. That is illegal in many states. The police and government have been taking advantage of the database
erickmrivera79

Pro

Yeah, it can trace back to other people besides the criminal, but they did get of prison. Its not like they found guilty and sentenced for a longer amount of time. The police had eventually found the real criminal and he was arrested. It doesn't just help with the finding of criminals it also helps with finding different genetic diseases. As Markus MacGill had stated in the medicalnewstoday.com, " The sharing of large amounts of DNA data can enable researchers to predict and treat serious disease. " Having this can save lives. This can give more hope and opportunity to those that have this genetic disease or could have this. Why should we give this up for some set backs? We have the ability to predict certain diseases.
Debate Round No. 4
CircleOfLife98

Con

Yes it can help with finding new genetic diseases, but scientists already have enough medical leads. Is having DNA on profile overstepping a person"s privacy? According to the European Court of Human Rights, any DNA that is taken should be legally discarded after the case of any crime is closed. That is not the case as of today. Many law enforcement personnel and the government have been keeping DNA files in the database despite how the person came out (guilty or innocent). Over 500,000 people have been convicted of crimes because of their matching DNA. The genetic code is universal which means that people everywhere could have some matching DNA and that makes it easier to be wrongly convicted. Having being wrongly convicted and having the DNA file kept oversteps one a person"s privacy. "Imagine the scenario: You happen to match the physical description of a serial burglar and you are brought in for questioning and then placed under arrest. The next day, you"re freed. Mistaken identity is all you leave with. Later, you realize that there is one thing left behind, your DNA. Your DNA will now be on file for 30 years. How do you feel?" (The New Atlantis). You have just given away your privacy and who you really are. The Prum Treaty was signed allowing other countries to access the DNA of an individual if that person is suspected to be guilty in their country. By having your DNA on file, other countries along with the government of your own state have access to your DNA. This means that the person is no longer just any person, he/she is a person that belongs to the government in a way. DNA databases and profiling should not be allowed because it leads to ethical/legal problems, does not require any consent, the government can access your information, the police can lie about the data, and the person who has the DNA on file is no longer in their own privacy.
erickmrivera79

Pro

No, its not overstepping a person's privacy if it helping the world and the medical diseases. Its not overstepping their privacy if it means finding lost relatives that were loved so deeply. Its not overstepping if it helps finding criminals. This can help the world. People could figure out what kind of genes they have. We could find cures to medical diseases. We could find those people that have done wrong. We could find those children who have run away or have been abducted. Why would this be a threat to someone's privacy if it means helping people in this world? Why would it be wrong to use DNA to stop future diseases? If it does this much help, why stop it? We can thrive off this, we need to keep using the DNA databases.
Debate Round No. 5
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