SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A Jane Doe sued the University of California, seeking tissue samples from a dead man she thinks may be her biological father.
Doe says she needs the tissue for a DNA test to determine whether the late John Doe was her father.
She sued the Regents of the University of California, in Superior Court. She says the late John Doe was a patient in the UCLA Health System, which she believes has tissue samples taken from him when he was alive.
“It is important to Jane Doe to know the identity of her biological father to help her in understanding her own health and medical needs, including the hereditary and genetic aspects of illness, physical features and life span,” the complaint states. “It is becoming more commonplace in medical communities to only check for certain cancers and other serious diseases if a history exists in one’s family. Without knowledge of her true paternity, Jane Doe’s life could be placed in jeopardy by not getting tests for any number of life-threatening diseases in a timely manner. In addition, without the legal determination of her true paternity, she would have no legal access to medical records of her relatives, which is ordinarily granted only to biological relatives.”
Doe says that that having knowledge of her extended family could help her get timely medical attention, that aunts, uncles and other relatives could be a source for blood transfusions or medical transplants.
“If the need ever arose for such a transplant or transfusion, without prior DNA testing, it would most likely take too long for the court to resolve the issue to meet any medical emergency,” the complaint states.
She claims California’s Family Code gives her the “fundamental right” to try to identify her father.
“The Legislature hereby finds and declares as follows: ‘There is a compelling state interest in establishing paternity for all children,'” the complaint states. “‘Establishing paternity is the first step toward a child support award, which, in turn, provides children with equal rights and access to benefits, including, but not limited to, social security, health insurance, survivors’ benefits, military benefits and inherent rights.”
It’s not a question of seeking an inheritance, Jane Doe says: “John Doe had no other known children. His estate has long-since been administered. Allowing Jane Doe to find out who is her biological father will not disrupt any family unit.”
She adds: “UCLA has no interest in not providing a tissue sample for DNA testing. It has no privacy or other interests to protect. Nor are there any governmental restrictions on UCLA providing a tissue sample from John Doe for DNA testing.”
She is represented by Loren Kieve.