Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2003-11 > 1069616327

From: OrinWells <>
Subject: [DNA] OT - Potential misuse of samples
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 11:38:47 -0800
References: <001d01c3b1eb$5e18cb60$8a0aa8c0@William>
In-Reply-To: <001d01c3b1eb$5e18cb60$8a0aa8c0@William>

At 09:58 AM 11/23/2003, Lowe DNA wrote:

> Let me think what application I could this to good use.....would a drug
> company like to tap into our database....would the pool of medical and
> insurance related databases like to have our information......

I think some of you are being MUCH too suspicious. I have looked into what
they are doing sufficiently including visiting the project when it was
still at BYU and I believe Mr. Sorenson is doing this for the science and
not for the profit. He already has more money than all of us combined
could spend in our lifetimes.

The consent forms that are signed by participants make it very clear that
the samples can NEVER be shared with any third party without the express
written consent of the participants. If they wish to share my sample with
some unauthorized entity, I will be happy to stand at the front of the
class-action line to get some of Mr. Sorenson's money for violating the
contract and I would not hesitate to sue the recipients for invasion of

Having a database with y-chromosome dna results that can be searched
without being able to identify the exact individual who contributed the
sample is a far cry from having a database of all dna information linked to
names that can be sold to such companies as you suggest. I have no
hesitation in trusting in the integrity and good intentions of Mr.
Sorenson, the members of the project and the project itself. I am still
skeptical that they will achieve what they set out to achieve, but I am
confident they will end up with a valuable tool that all of us may find

Like Dirty Harry said, "Come on. Make my day. Please sell my DNA!"

Frankly, I would be more concerned about the blood samples we all give
periodically to labs through our physicians for testing. Ever wonder what
a profit driven unscrupulous diagnostic lab might be moved to do with the
extra blood? When was the last time you and they signed a form stating
what they could or could not do with your sample? Do you REALLY know? You
might send a sample to see if you have high cholesterol levels, but they
only need a small portion of the sample for that test. How do you know
they don't have a contract with some drug company or intermediary to send
the unused portions for some financial incentive? The insurance companies
have far greater access to this source than they do to some private
research project because they control the revenue flow through the labs.

More likely the labs send the unused blood samples (probably still in the
original vials marked with your name and ID) to a hazardous waste disposal
company. We all "know" how those companies are run from past criminal and
civil cases. We can conjure up visions of mafia thugs or Russian
immigrants who have no scruples running these businesses, although it may
be untrue. Do you think they have changed their spots? How hard do you
think it would be for such a company to package up these samples and sell
them to an insurance company or other entity capable of matching up the
donor to actual insured clients?

Or, when one applies for a Life Insurance policy these days they always
take a blood sample to analyze for possible problems that might cause you
to kick the bucket before they have collected enough money from you. What
do you suppose they do with these samples? Could they possibly run far
more tests than you think? Maybe they keep a sample in the freezer waiting
for technology to catch up so they can run a full DNA analysis on you. Why
would these companies need to get a sample from a genealogy dna testing lab
when they probably already have a sample sitting in their storage freezers.

Want to have a conspiracy theory to worry about? Worry about that.

Orin R. Wells
Wells Family Research Association
P. O. Box 5427
Kent, Washington 98064-5427
Subscribe to the "Wells-L" list on RootsWeb

This thread: