What is Informed Consent?

Please note: DNA samples will not be processed unless the Consent Form included in your Assure DNA Paternity test kit is completed in full and returned with a copy of your ID documents.

Before samples may be collected for a Test or the Test itself carried out, the appropriate consent must be obtained.

Informed Consent

Consent is not consent if it is uninformed consent. The person giving consent must understand what they are consenting to – the type of test and what it will show. It is also important that they have given serious consideration to the implications of finding out the results of the Test – the consequences of which may be irrevocable.

Consent must be voluntary, i.e. the person giving consent must give consent of their own free will and must not be subjected to undue influence, pressure or threat of any kind.

Consent may be withdrawn at any time. If any party to a test subsequently withdraws their consent, Assure DNA must be notified immediately and the processing of samples will be stopped. 

 

Consent of Child (+16 years old & above)

No Test will be undertaken without the consent of each adult to be tested (unless a court has ruled otherwise). Each adult is required to sign the Consent Form. An adult is someone who is 18 years or over. A child of 16 or 17 years of age is presumed to be capable of giving consent and may give consent as if they were an adult.

If they do not wish to make a decision, either way, their mother may consent on their behalf.

In Scotland, a person who is 16 or over has the legal capacity to consent for themselves.

Consent for Children under 16 Years Old

If a child under 16 years of age is to be tested, then the mother may give consent on behalf of the child and is required to sign the Consent Form.

However, if the child is old enough and mature enough to understand the nature and consequences of the Test, their wishes should be sought and taken into consideration before the sample is collected. If the child’s wishes conflict with the parent’s wishes legal advice may be required.

A quick note:

Since September 2006, a “competent” child, i.e. one who is old enough and mature enough to understand the nature and implications of the Test, may consent for themselves and their wishes cannot be overridden by a parent or other person with Parental Responsibility for them. The test of competency is based on the “Gillick” case (Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority [1985] 3 All ER 402, HL) in which it was held that a doctor could provide medical advice to a child under 16 years without the approval (or even the knowledge) of the parent if the child was of “sufficient understanding and intelligence to be capable of making up his own mind”.

It is not possible to state with certainty at what age a child might be expected to have the appropriate level of competency to consent, as all children are different and mature at different rates, but as a rough guide, it is probable that most children of 12 years and over are likely to have the required competence and care should, therefore, be taken to ensure that their rights under the new Act are upheld.

In Scotland, a child under the age of 16 may give consent themselves if in the opinion of the medical practitioner who is attending them* they have the capacity to understand the nature and possible consequences of the procedure (in which case, their wishes cannot be overridden by a parent or the local authority who has responsibility for them).

If they do not have such capacity, any person with “parental responsibilities” (within the meaning of section 1(3) of Children (Scotland) Act 1995) in relation to a child or having care and control of a child may consent for them. The consent of only one such person is required.

*For our purposes, this would include the person collecting the child’s sample, provided they are a medical practitioner (e.g. doctor, dentist).

Tests will not be undertaken where we have reason to believe that the person consenting for a child is not authorised to do so.

Consent of Test Reports

As well as consenting to the samples being taken and the Test being carried out, everyone tested should realise that they are also consenting to the results being issued to an authorised person (or persons).

Test reports will only be given to or discussed with:

(a) the person nominated on the Consent Form to receive the results – the “Nominated Person”.

(b) other authorised persons (if applicable), such as the Child Support Agency or the Court which ordered the test.

(c) the legal representative(s) of the person(s) tested (if applicable) with the consent of the person(s) tested.

(d) other persons with the consent of everyone tested.

(e) any person tested (or, where person tested is a child, the mother or other person with Parental Responsibility for the child), where those authorised to receive the results failed without good cause to pass on the results to those tested.

Clients Address

In accordance with our procedures, the client’s address (Usually the person who ordered and paid for the testing services) will appear on the Test Report.

If you do not wish for this address to be on the report, please notify us in writing, preferably when returning samples to us.

Withdrawal of Consent

You may withdraw your consent for this test at any time prior to the issue of the report by contacting us using the details below:

Anglia DNA
33 Scottow Enterprise Park,
Lamas Road, Badersfield,
NORWICH NR10 5FB

Tel: +44 (0) 1603 358169
Fax: +44 (0) 1603 298071
Email: office@angliadna.co.uk
Web: www.angliadna.co.uk

ASSURE DNA IS OPERATED BY Anglia DNA Services Anglia DNA Services is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory (No. 2699) holding accreditation to international standard ISO/IEC17025 for paternity testing.