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Identity, mass fatality and forensic genetics

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Robin Williams, Dr Matthias Wienroth


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This paper locates the use of DNA profiling within the contemporary disaster response apparatus as an instance of a historically contingent biometric identity regime. It considers why and how DNA profiling and profile matching, first developed to support criminal justice aims, have been adopted for disaster victim identification. The increasingly obligatory status of this identification technology in contemporary society is also discussed, as is the effect of its use on the status of prior philosophical assertions about the nature of personal identity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Williams R, Wienroth M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: New Genetics and Society

Year: 2014

Volume: 33

Issue: 3

Pages: 257-276

Online publication date: 05/09/2014

Acceptance date: 15/07/2014

ISSN (print): 1463-6778

ISSN (electronic): 1469-9915

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/14636778.2014.946005


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