What Happens in a Genetics Laboratory?
Laboratories may use anonymised DNA samples to help develop
new tests, or share them as part of Quality Assurance (QA)
schemes, unless an individual specifies that they do not wish
their sample to be used in this way. Like any stored clinical
samples, DNA is regarded as part of a patient’s medical record
and is therefore kept in medical confidence. This means that
access to it is only possible through an appropriate healthcare
Some people are concerned about the police accessing their
DNA. This is an extremely rare request. If the police should
want access to a DNA sample from the genetics laboratory (as
with any other part of a patient’s medical record) then this is only
possible on production of a court order.
This leaflets was developed by Genetic Alliance UK, with the help of Dr Ian M
Frayling, Institute of Medical Genetics, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff,
UK and Dr Domenico Coviello, Laboratory of Medical Genetics, Fondazione
IRCCS, Milan, Italy.
Published: March 2009
Revision Date: March 2011
This work was supported by EuroGentest, an EU-FP6 supported NoE contract
Illustrations: Rebecca J Kent