Bracketing off populations does not advance ethical reflection on EVCs: A reply to Kayser and Schneider

Amade M'charek, Victor Toom, Barbara Prainsack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In a recent contribution to this journal, Kayser and Schneider reviewed the relevance of external visible characteristics (EVCs) for criminal investigation [1]. Their aim was to broaden the debate about the scientific, legal, and ethical dimensions of the use of EVCs for criminal investigation, which will help to achieve a firm legal basis for the application of EVCs eventually. While we applaud Kayser's and Schneider's overall very thoughtful and nuanced discussion of this topic, we were surprised to read that they suggest that a discussion of ‘the challenges of using problematic definitions of populations […] has to be kept separate from using EVCs’ (p. 158). In contrast to these authors, we contend that questions about defining populations – both at the level of scientific research, and the application of EVCs in criminal investigation – lie at the core of most social, ethical, and legal issues raised by the translation of EVCs into forensic and police practices
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e16-e17
JournalForensic Science International: Genetics
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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