Who should have the right to use DNA Samples and for what Purpose?

Ref: C2346556

DNA analysis is now widely available and widely used by the police and healthcare professionals. But it is also offered by commercial companies and used by people who want to pursue people they believe have committed a crime. We will explore some of the moral issues arising - the use of DNA information without consent; how reliable online DNA analysis results are; people bypassing the criminal justice system - using the philosophical ideas of privacy, self-ownership, the rule of law, and consent. The format will be a combination of student participation and a mini-lecture. Knowledge of philosophy is not expected.

Course aim

to give students the opportunity to examine the moral issues arising from the use of DNA analysis in medical, criminal and commercial contexts, with the help of philosophical ideas.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • explain at least one moral issue in relation to DNA analysis
  • define privacy, self-ownership and consent
  • explain the rule of law
  • draw conclusions, and give reasons for them, regarding at least one moral issue, using at least one of the concepts covered (privacy, self-ownership, consent, and the rule of law

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

This is an online course. You will need an email address, reliable Internet access, and a CANVAS account. Help with CANVAS is available from the national WEA team.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Who should have the right to use DNA Samples and for what Purpose?

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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