To Swab or Not to Swab

That is the question.

A woman has been murdered. Police believe that they have DNA evidence that could finger the murderer. They do not have a specific individual in mind as a suspect.

What the police have proposed is to go to a group of men (including all the dead woman’s potential dates, as recorded by dating websites) and get a inner cheek swab to be used to compare DNA. Just like you see on shows like CSI.

In the meantime, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is condemning the mass canvas. They consider this practice “highly coercive” and said it will “leave individuals feeling that they have no other option than to hand their most private information over to the state.” However, a spokesman for the OPP defended the canvas.

I personally am fine with the idea, and if asked, would voluntarily contribute a sample. I am much more concerned with the promise of the police to fully discard all results that are proven to not be linked. That is, throw away my sample and all results thereof if my DNA does not match. Do not add me to some database.

What about you? What is your thinking on mass DNA canvasses?

To read more about the case, visit The Toronto Star.

One Comment

  1. Steph says:

    I Would also be concerned about being added to a database. You don’t really know for sure that they threw the results away.

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