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Thread: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by StringBean View Post
    You need to do some research on biogenetics. Your dna includes your proclivity for developing certain diseases, mental disorders, genetic mutations, and a host of other medical issues.
    DNA can do some of those things -- though the degree of accuracy is often vastly overstated.

    However, in order to do so, you need far more than the 14 markers used by CODIS.

    And again, most of those markers are completely irrelevant to any criminal proceedings. Even if you have, for example, a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia, that alone is insufficient to prove that you are violent or mentally incompetent.

    And every bit of superfluous data that's collected increases storage, which increases costs and slows down search times. Nor could they afford the time or the equipment to check if a suspect has a genetic predisposition for colon cancer or hair loss.


    To say that it is the same as a fingerprint is ignorant.
    To suggest that the police are going to test whether you have an increased chance of developing breast cancer is ignorant.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    So the parents can take their property from them by force and give it to someone else?
    Children have limited rights, including property rights. The specifics vary based on jurisdiction.

    If your parents "give" you a car, but the title is still in their name, they can take it from you at any time. If the parent signs the title over, then the parent no longer has control over the vehicle. Or, if the child has a savings account in their name, the parent cannot arbitrarily seize those funds.

    A child cannot refuse a medical procedure that a parent authorizes, unless someone in the process (e.g. the physician) determines that it's harmful to the child. In fact, a parent can commit a child to a mental institution against their will, and without a hearing (Parham v. J.R.).


    Why can people not understand that is an aggressive act on the parents part and has nothing to do with maintenance, guidance or health.
    Why do you not understand that minors have limited rights?

    If I take away my child's favorite toy, or if I deny my 17 year old son access to a car to which I hold the title, those actions might be aggressive, unpleasant, unwise and have nothing to do with guidance or health. They are still entirely legal, and in most cases ethically unproblematic.


    As for your prior claim, we all have the right to end our life...
    No, you have the ability to try and end your life.

    Legally you do not have an unfettered right to terminate your own existence. Euthanasia is only legal in a handful of jurisdictions, and then often under highly restricted circumstances. No matter what your age, if you attempt suicide and you fail, and someone finds out, you can be involuntarily committed to a mental institution.


    the only right the mother or father has is to try to convince them of otherwise or to revive them if permitted.
    Incorrect. A living will is not legally valid until the person in question has reached the age of majority.


    This argument that parental rights is all reaching is complete and utter bull****.
    No, it's a basic awareness of the fact that children have limited rights.

    The fact that it happens to run counter to your intuitions, preferences and/or argument is immaterial.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    Children have limited rights, including property rights. The specifics vary based on jurisdiction.

    If your parents "give" you a car, but the title is still in their name, they can take it from you at any time. If the parent signs the title over, then the parent no longer has control over the vehicle. Or, if the child has a savings account in their name, the parent cannot arbitrarily seize those funds.
    You mistake personal property of the child with a gift from the parents that never involved ownership transfer. The car simply represents permission on the parents part towards their child to use the car. That has nothing in common with the money example I provided where the mother never had permission to use the money from the father and the father made it very clear it was the child's property.

    A child cannot refuse a medical procedure that a parent authorizes, unless someone in the process (e.g. the physician) determines that it's harmful to the child. In fact, a parent can commit a child to a mental institution against their will, and without a hearing (Parham v. J.R.).
    I never said they could. What I said, is that the parents right towards medical procedures is limited by maintenance and medical necessity. Regardless, we are arguing from different basis where you will always lean on the state and I will always lean on philosophy. There is no way to resolve this problem without you stepping outside of the law into the realm of reason.

    In any event, to argue one has the right to violate ones body outside of that restraint is to argue for unlimited rights for parents.


    Why do you not understand that minors have limited rights?

    If I take away my child's favorite toy, or if I deny my 17 year old son access to a car to which I hold the title, those actions might be aggressive, unpleasant, unwise and have nothing to do with guidance or health. They are still entirely legal, and in most cases ethically unproblematic.
    The property transfer never occurred. Your example is fail.


    No, you have the ability to try and end your life.

    Legally you do not have an unfettered right to terminate your own existence. Euthanasia is only legal in a handful of jurisdictions, and then often under highly restricted circumstances. No matter what your age, if you attempt suicide and you fail, and someone finds out, you can be involuntarily committed to a mental institution.
    Yes, and that is a violation of ones right to control their own destiny. It is the most fundamental of rights beyond perhaps life itself.

    Incorrect. A living will is not legally valid until the person in question has reached the age of majority.
    Yes, and that is not respecting ones right to contract.
    Last edited by Henrin; 06-06-13 at 05:29 PM.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    You mistake personal property of the child with a gift from the parents that never involved ownership transfer.
    No, I haven't. Which is why I mentioned that a parent cannot seize a child's savings account.

    Again, it depends on how you define "property." If I say to my kid "I'm going to give you my car," and I don't sign over the title, the 17 year old kid may not have the slightest idea that I'm still the legal owner. The kid may feel (justifiably) that it is "her car." But if the title isn't signed over, it's still my property.

    Nor is it always so clear what is a "gift" and what is "theirs." If I give my child a teddy bear when she is six, can I take it back when she is 16?


    What I said, is that the parents right towards medical procedures is limited by maintenance and medical necessity.
    No, the limitation is that the parent cannot harm the child.

    If my child is 8 years old, and I want the child to have cosmetic plastic surgery, and the surgeon agrees that the procedure will not cause harm, and the child refuses, I am still within my rights to have that surgery performed on the child. It's the parent who decides what is in the best interests of the child.

    Similarly, if I want to commit my child to a mental institution, and the doctor certifies that it's a valid request, and the child refuses, that does not halt the commitment.

    Thus: If a parent wants to collect a DNA sample or fingerprints from a child, they are well within their powers to do so. If I want to track my child's every move with a GPS chip in their backpack, I can do that. If I want to read the child's email, or listen in on calls, or surreptitiously observe his Facebook page, I can do all of that. The child does not have legal standing to object.


    Regardless, we are arguing from different basis where you will always lean on the state and I will always lean on philosophy. There is no way to resolve this problem without you stepping outside of the law into the realm of reason.
    You aren't citing "philosophy." You haven't cited a single principle. You're only expounding on personal preferences, and basically classifying children as adults.

    Although the issues are complex, it is very easy to cite the philosophical principle involved: Minors do not have the maturity or mental capacity to make certain decisions on their own accord. Thus, children have limited rights.

    And no, having "limited rights" is completely different than having "no rights." Children are still protected from harm, including from their own parents. They have some property rights. There are specific provisions for contracts signed by a minor, as well as a contract co-signed by the parents.


    In any event, to argue one has the right to violate ones body outside of that restraint is to argue for unlimited rights for parents.
    I am not arguing for absolute parental rights. Parents cannot intentionally cause harm to a child; if they wish to seize property bequeathed to a child, usually there is some type of legal process, etc.

    There is a middle ground here. It's summed up by the phrase, say it with me now... "Children have limited rights, until they reach the age of majority."


    Yes, and that is a violation of ones right to control their own destiny. It is the most fundamental of rights beyond perhaps life itself.
    Many ethical systems provide rationales for a rejection of suicide as morally valid. You, on the other hand, merely state your preferences. It's not convincing.


    Yes, and that is not respecting ones right to contract.
    A living will is not a "contract."

    A living will is a set of instructions for your medical care in the event that you are incapacitated, and someone needs to make decisions for you. It lets the authorized parties know your preferences.

    It is not an agreement between equals. It's not specifying services rendered in exchange for payment. It doesn't specify terms. It's not a contract.

    And again: Minors are not held to be competent to decide their fate in the event they are medically incapacitated, and parents are fully empowered to decide medical care for their children.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    No, I haven't. Which is why I mentioned that a parent cannot seize a child's savings account.
    Fair enough. My comment was not a saving account however, by currency exchanged from the father to child where the desires of both parties were well known and the mother took the property. This has actually happened before and the man lost against the mother due to court ruling the mother could spend the money. I have no idea how anyone justifies that response when she was not involved in the transaction so at best it was either still his or the child's property. She was not even involved, but they basically claimed she was the mother and therefore the child's mother is hers. WTF?? I swear that throws logic on its head and rapes it for a month ten times a day.

    Again, it depends on how you define "property." If I say to my kid "I'm going to give you my car," and I don't sign over the title, the 17 year old kid may not have the slightest idea that I'm still the legal owner. The kid may feel (justifiably) that it is "her car." But if the title isn't signed over, it's still my property.
    I'm fully aware of that, thanks.

    Nor is it always so clear what is a "gift" and what is "theirs." If I give my child a teddy bear when she is six, can I take it back when she is 16?
    Yes, the teddy is not their property.

    No, the limitation is that the parent cannot harm the child.
    So you find the limitation of guidance, maintenance, health necessary as unreasonable?

    If my child is 8 years old, and I want the child to have cosmetic plastic surgery, and the surgeon agrees that the procedure will not cause harm, and the child refuses, I am still within my rights to have that surgery performed on the child. It's the parent who decides what is in the best interests of the child.
    So you don't see anything wrong this legal standard? You don't see how that is inherently aggressive by it's very nature?

    Similarly, if I want to commit my child to a mental institution, and the doctor certifies that it's a valid request, and the child refuses, that does not halt the commitment.
    Again, that is a inherently aggressive and for what to make the kid suffer in a mental institution?

    Thus: If a parent wants to collect a DNA sample or fingerprints from a child, they are well within their powers to do so. If I want to track my child's every move with a GPS chip in their backpack, I can do that. If I want to read the child's email, or listen in on calls, or surreptitiously observe his Facebook page, I can do all of that. The child does not have legal standing to object.
    Wow, so again, nothing is wrong with any of this? You find no sort of problem with any of this? The state can just own the child's DNA and fingerprints for the rest of their lives due to the desires of the parent when the child was a newborn? Unbelievable. It's as if the golden rule is completely alien to you. You won't even accept the idea that perhaps they should give it back when the child is 18. You realize if you don't give it back you are affecting the rights of adults, right?

    You aren't citing "philosophy." You haven't cited a single principle. You're only expounding on personal preferences, and basically classifying children as adults.
    You should be able to pick up on which philosophy I'm using since its the basis of parental rights.

    Although the issues are complex, it is very easy to cite the philosophical principle involved: Minors do not have the maturity or mental capacity to make certain decisions on their own accord. Thus, children have limited rights.
    I never said their rights were not limited. What do you think those three pillars I keep listing are actually for?

    And no, having "limited rights" is completely different than having "no rights." Children are still protected from harm, including from their own parents. They have some property rights. There are specific provisions for contracts signed by a minor, as well as a contract co-signed by the parents
    Thanks for your legal argument that I have no interest in at all and I told you get out of.

    I am not arguing for absolute parental rights. Parents cannot intentionally cause harm to a child; if they wish to seize property bequeathed to a child, usually there is some type of legal process, etc.
    No, you are. The only limitation you use is harm which means, what exactly? Nothing.


    Many ethical systems provide rationales for a rejection of suicide as morally valid. You, on the other hand, merely state your preferences. It's not convincing.
    We all have a right to life and right to end that life. The state has been violating the later right for a very long time and further violating our right to liberty if we fail by forcing people into treatment. Don't even think I find any of this acceptable and don't think there is any sort of ethical standing for such violence against people be them adults or children.

    It doesn't matter if they are stable mind or able to make these decisions, they have the right to be irrational and ignorant.
    Last edited by Henrin; 06-06-13 at 07:53 PM.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    My comment was not a saving account however....
    You're apparently referring to something that either I missed, or that isn't relevant to the question at hand.


    Yes, the teddy is not their property.
    The point is not to ask you to make a specific judgment call. It's to illustrate that when we're dealing with family, we're not always dealing with contracts and exchanges and clear distinctions. Thus, sorting out what property a child truly owns on his or her own is complex, and manifests as "limited property rights."

    Of course, "property rights" are not actually inherent in human beings; they're cultural norms, which vary significantly from one society to the next, and are basically legal fictions that we use to try and organize our society. Thus no one really has any inherent property rights, it's a convenient fiction. But anyway....


    So you find the limitation of guidance, maintenance, health necessary as unreasonable?
    I'm saying that you are using this formula in too restrictive a fashion, and ignoring how children are often not capable of making certain types of decisions.


    So you don't see anything wrong this legal standard? You don't see how that is inherently aggressive by it's very nature?
    "Aggression" is not a relevant criteria. A parent is allowed to be as "aggressive" as they want, as long as they do not actually harm the child.

    It may be a good thing for a parent to take the child's opinions into consideration, but that's up to the parent. The child does not get a say in whether they want to attend school, or go to summer camp, or eat broccoli, or brush his teeth. A child that has leukemia and absolutely cannot stand chemotherapy should not be the one to make the final decision whether or not to continue the treatments.


    Wow, so again, nothing is wrong with any of this? You find no sort of problem with any of this? The state can just own the child's DNA and fingerprints for the rest of their lives due to the desires of the parent when the child was a newborn?
    Parents make decisions all the time that will influence or affect the future of the child. Where should we live? What religion should we practice? Should we prevent the child from eating meat? That's all part of being a parent.

    And yes, a parent certainly has the right to do a DNA test, whether it's to test for paternity or to check for the likelihood of future disease.

    As far as I know, civilians cannot voluntarily put their DNA into CODIS. That doesn't change the fact that a parent undoubtedly has the right to take their child's fingerprints, and sequence the child's genome for any future use.

    The individual may have an ethical case to demand control of that information at the age of majority. But it's easy for law enforcement to acquire anyway. Hence, back to the original point, it's not a big deal, and it's not "unusual search and seizure." (Especially since they are basically only storing a tiny fraction of your DNA, for identification purposes.)


    It's as if the golden rule is completely alien to you.
    I'm well aware of "the golden rule," and much more sophisticated forms thereof such as Kantian and Scanlonian contractualism.

    In fact, this can come full circle if the parent develops dementia or Alzheimer's or is otherwise compromised, and the child (now an adult) is required to take power of attorney or legal guardianship of a debilitated parent. This can unquestionably result in the child ordering the parent to undergo medical procedures they don't want, to remove many of their freedoms in order to keep the patient safe, and control over finances and property.


    The only limitation you use is harm which means, what exactly? Nothing.
    It means a great deal.

    Parents do not have the right to beat a child, to throw them out on the street, to starve them, to intentionally refuse critical medical care, to sexually molest the child, and whole host of other protections. Minors have restricted rights when it comes to work, contracts and property ownership. They do not have the right to refuse medical care that a parent believes is beneficial.

    So if a parent judges that a child needs to be committed to a mental health facility for their own health and safety, and a doctor certifies the result, then yes a parent should have the power to commit the child -- regardless of whether you view this as being "too aggressive."


    We all have a right to life and right to end that life.
    Aside from euthanasia (which is a separate issue), very few ethical systems assert that "suicide is ethical and a right." E.g. both Kant and Mill, who are often regarded as holding opposing ethical views (contractualism and consequentialism) both regard suicide as immoral.

    What can I say -- you're not free if you're dead.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek
    Of course, "property rights" are not actually inherent in human beings; they're cultural norms, which vary significantly from one society to the next, and are basically legal fictions that we use to try and organize our society. Thus no one really has any inherent property rights, it's a convenient fiction. But anyway....
    No comment. If you don't even believe in property we have nothing to talk about. My entire dispute is based on the idea that people own themselves and that no one can take that away from you or stop you from acting on that right. The only reason I even permit parental rights is to due the basic inability for the child to maintain their health and get treatment when they need it. DNA and fingerprints should not be a question of who owns them as they are part of the child's body and there will never be a reason for the parents to act on them.

    Since however you believe the government is the arbiter of your right to life, liberty, and estate you will never understand any of this nor will you ever understand what it means to be believer in free will. Without even that there is nothing to talk about. You're clearly just another drone of the state and I have no interest in you any longer.

    Good day, and I hope your government does not start treating you like you support child to be treated.

    I really can not believe anyone actually believes that basically all you can't do to children is rape, kill or beat them. Sick.
    Last edited by Henrin; 06-07-13 at 12:54 AM.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    No comment. If you don't even believe in property we have nothing to talk about. My entire dispute is based on the idea that people own themselves and that no one can take that away from you or stop you from acting on that right. The only reason I even permit parental rights is to due the basic inability for the child to maintain their health and get treatment when they need it. DNA and fingerprints should not be a question of who owns them as they are part of the child's body and there will never be a reason for the parents to act on them.
    I don't think there is a question of whether you 'own' your DNA or fingerprints. The question is who can give permission for those to be used. It's not like anyone takes away your fingerprints from you and you don't have them anymore.

    An infant cannot speak for themselves any more than a person with stage 7 Alzheimers can speak for themselves. So the parents of an infant get to make the decisions for them until they can make thier own. It's been that way since forever.
    There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
    P. J. O'Rourke

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    No comment. If you don't even believe in property we have nothing to talk about.
    Meaning what -- your definition of property rights, and yours alone, are axiomatic? You get exclusive powers to decide that your interpretation of "property rights" is the correct one? No one can possibly inquire into the nature of property rights?

    And it's not that "I don't believe in property." It's that I recognize that property rights are a social construction, and are not universal or intrinsic -- and do not apply to actual human bodies.


    My entire dispute is based on the idea that people own themselves and that no one can take that away from you or stop you from acting on that right.
    What a bizarre concept. I am not property; I don't want to be treated like property; the integrity of my body and my person has nothing to do with "ownership." The very phrasing of "I own myself" suggests that someone else can legitimately "own me." In fact, the idea that "a human body is property" is a core requirement for chattel slavery.

    Along similar lines, a parent does not "own" a child, and it is not a contractual arrangement. So you tell me, what links a parent and child?

    And again, the adult child of someone who suffers from dementia, and who receives power of attorney, has both significant control over the patient and all of their assets and property. In this situation, the caretaker does not "own the body" of the patient, and can instruct a doctor to perform a wide variety of invasive procedures. This is neither a property relationship nor a contractual arrangement.

    US law, by the way, doesn't depend on the idea that human rights are founded in property rights. The relevant concepts to the DNA collection issue are based on privacy rights and personhood. (In fact, you wouldn't want it to be based on property rights, as the government retains the power to seize property for "public use," as long as you are compensated.)


    The only reason I even permit parental rights is to due the basic inability for the child to maintain their health and get treatment when they need it. DNA and fingerprints should not be a question of who owns them as they are part of the child's body and there will never be a reason for the parents to act on them.
    Oh, you "permit" parental rights. How nice.

    It is very clear that parents have vital interests in the life of the child, which license procedures far more intrusive than a DNA test. A parent can authorize invasive medical procedures, IQ tests, personality tests, mental health evaluations and more. They can change residences, get divorced, give up the child for adoption regardless of the wishes of the child.

    And as I've already mentioned, DNA is used for paternity tests, and can be used to test for medical conditions -- an increasingly common practice. A parent may choose to record the child's fingerprints on their own recognizance, to help identify the child in some other context.

    You also do not "own" your fingerprints. Or at least, on that basis you cannot prevent police from recording them upon arrest.


    Since however you believe the government is the arbiter of your right to life, liberty, and estate....
    I believe no such thing.

    It's that we, as a society, determine what rights we have and want to protect. They are not intrinsic or universal, they are decided by social agreements, both informal and formal. In an electoral society, laws codify the ways we want the state to negotiate, protect and/or enforce those rights.

    So, if "we the people" do not want the state to collect DNA upon arrest, there's an easy fix: Rescind those laws. In theory, we can pass a federal law barring states from passing such laws as well.


    you [will never] understand what it means to be believer in free will.
    Of course I do. I also realize that "will" is conceived of quite differently in different cultures, that "free will" is a highly problematic concept, and that it is eminently possible that our conceptions of free will are incorrect. Anyway....


    I really can not believe anyone actually believes that basically all you can't do to children is rape, kill or beat them. Sick.
    No, it's that parents ought to have a great deal of latitude for raising a child. If that happens to include sequencing the child's DNA, that is the choice of the parent.

    And again, this is based on a recognition that a minor will not always have the maturity or capability to decide what is in their own best interests. Once they are 18, ready or not, they are an adult and can make their own decisions.

    The child may, in turn, reverse various decisions made by the parents. For example, the commercial DNA sequencing service "23andMe" will sequence a child's DNA. When the child reaches the age of majority, they can close the account and remove that individual's data.

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    Re: Court: Police can take DNA swabs from arrestees

    Quote Originally Posted by Heebie Jeebie View Post
    I don't think there is a question of whether you 'own' your DNA or fingerprints. The question is who can give permission for those to be used. It's not like anyone takes away your fingerprints from you and you don't have them anymore.

    An infant cannot speak for themselves any more than a person with stage 7 Alzheimers can speak for themselves. So the parents of an infant get to make the decisions for them until they can make thier own. It's been that way since forever.
    Yes, and I'm saying that is violation of their rights if you were to take their fingerprints or DNA without their consent. The person with Alzheimers does not need their DNA or fingerprints taken for treatment and therefore there is no reason to act towards them and therefore no right to do so.
    Last edited by Henrin; 06-07-13 at 03:24 PM. Reason: cluster**** sentence fixed.

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