Sumary of The DNA of Roma People Has Long Been Misused, Scientists Reveal:
- For decades, geneticists have collected the blood of thousands of Roma people, a marginalized group living in Europe, and deposited their DNA in public databases.
- Now, a group of scientists has argued this research, which has made the Roma the most intensely studied population in Europe over the past 30 years in forensic genetic journals, is rife with ethical issues and may harm the Romani people.
- ”“This is an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about ethical issues in genetic research,” said Deborah Bolnick, an anthropological geneticist at the University of Connecticut who was not involved with research.
- “The unethical practices described here are unfortunately very familiar and not a surprise,” Dr. Bolnick added.
- In 2015, the Slovakian government defended its practice of segregating Roma children in schools, falsely citing “mild mental disabilities” tied to “high levels of inbreeding” in Romani communities.
- They found that many studies did not adequately seek consent from the people they sampled, if they secured consent at all.
- Some studies cited oral consent, but “no one knows what the consent really was,” said Peter Pfaffelhuber, a mathematician at the University of Freiburg and an author on the paper.
- “In a way, our consent is never deemed necessary because we are not deemed able to give our consent,” Dr. Brooks said.