Intended for healthcare professionals


“Son” at risk of inheriting of cancer can test DNA of dead man who might be his father

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 08 February 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k644
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

The High Court can direct a hospital to allow paternity testing using a DNA sample from a person who has died, the Court of Appeal has ruled.1

David Spencer asked the High Court to allow him to be tested against the sample taken from William Anderson, with whom his mother, Carol, had been in a relationship when he was conceived. The pair had split up three months before his birth and his mother’s new partner was registered as his father. Mr Justice Peter Jackson, who granted Spencer’s request, said the application was “apparently unprecedented” in England and Wales.

Anderson …

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