Policy required for entry of DNA profiles onto the National Forensic DNA Database of South Africa

  • Laura J. Heathfield Department of Genetics, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Keywords: DNA profiling, chromosomal abnormalities, medical confidentiality, forensic science


The recent Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act (2013) provides a definition for forensic DNA profiles and, in so doing, states that medical information about an individual may not be revealed through a forensic DNA profile. Yet chromosomal abnormalities can exhibit as tri-allelic patterns on DNA profiles and such information can expose medical conditions such as Down syndrome. This short report highlights this concern and suggests a policy be created for the entering of such DNA profiles onto the National Forensic DNA database of South Africa.

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