[FoRK] "New babies get their DNA put in permanent government database"

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Fri Feb 5 09:50:25 PST 2010

--- On Fri, 2/5/10, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> Russell says:
> > I bet this has some new dads here scrambling for that
> removal form:
> Actually, quite the opposite.  We had extensive
> testing done, both pre- and post-natal, mandatory and
> elective.  IIRC --- and I may not, as we only signed a
> bazillion (technical term common in geek-speak ;-) forms ---
> the State of Texas stuff was opt-in.  Regardless, in
> all cases we actually opted to allow sharing and utilization
> of the relevant data.
> I'm acutely aware of the risks run by such things but in
> net I believe the potential benefits outweigh the probable
> risks involved.  We'll see.*
> Had I become a parent, say, 10 years younger (but in the
> same e.g. legal and technological environment that we have
> today) I'd have made a different decision.
> jb
> * at a minimum, any sane legal system down the road should
> recognize subsequence information-on-file as prior art to
> prevent the "patented-person problem" (which, I think, will
> eventually be resolved by changes to generally-accepted IP
> law anyway.)  Also,  aggregative and longitudinal
> uses of this kind of information should have a massively
> accelerating and quality-improving impact on medical
> technology development, so in fact I'd encourage folks who
> might otherwise be skittish about this sort of thing to
> think long and hard before making such decisions.  More
> data = better medicine.

How much did you factor/weight the fact that you are making this decision primarily on behalf of your childrens' future, not your own?

This is kind of like the tyranny of today's parents posting all those cute "kid pics" of their children all over the internet that those same kids will have to live with/live down as their peers and future potential friends, employers, lovers, etc. see them. Worse, parents are also adding narrative of the most intimate nature, not always kind or complimentary, of the children's "cute" foibles as they grow and learn.

We are creating a reality for them that we cannot know and over which they have, and will have, little or no control. The saddest part is that it is mostly self-centred and thoughtless on the part of the parents. 

Not accusing you of any such behaviour, Jeff, honestly. Just riffing/ranting on the general subject of decisions we make on behalf of our progeny and about which many parents simply don't think. Or even comprehend that they *should* think. Nor would many of them even if you pointed it out to them.


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