Ruling restricts newborn blood use

  • Article by: TONY KENNEDY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 16, 2011 - 10:07 PM

State can't store samples for use in research without parental consent.

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longtimefanNov. 16, 1112:58 PM

The state needs the data to see who should live and who should die. If you love government, you'll welcome this screening to rid our state of the genetically inferior. Don't ya love totalitarianism?

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loganbearNov. 16, 11 1:04 PM

If I had a child, I would certainly want control over their blood sample. Newborn health screening is important to the health of the baby and research is an important benefit to society, I don't argue these points. However the use of DNA testing for things like paternity identification, criminal justice and development of for-profit pharmaceuticals means a DNA sample is an "asset" that must be protected. The department of health took the samples for the stated purpose of screening for diseases. Good. However once the screening was completed, the samples should have been either been destroyed or the parents ASKED if they would allow the sample to be donated to research.

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marathongirlNov. 16, 11 1:51 PM

The information should definitely not go anywhere but to the parents. But this testing is important too. I have a cousin that has PKU, they were able to determine it quickly and treat him before it caused any permanent damage, but he was 2 or 3 weeks old before they found it. Had the pin prick and testing of his blood just automatically been done they would've found it on his birth.

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JP55901Nov. 16, 11 2:34 PM

What are people (parents) afraid of?

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privateeyeNov. 16, 11 2:49 PM

Too bad what we as a society have become, paranoid. If someone benefits from the studies from this blood, what is the big deal? What are people so afraid of? What terrible thing has been done?

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eman2002Nov. 16, 11 2:57 PM

Paternity tests should also be mandatory.

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mgmNov. 16, 11 3:11 PM

JP55901 says "What are people (parents) afraid of?" === Lawsuits do not require fear. The problem, as the court found, was the state overstepping it's authority. Thats the problem with government, give them an inch & they'll take a mile. Not only that, they'll take another mile. And another. And another. Until they are taken to court. Why is our government harvesting & storing all newborns DNA? And why exactly do they think they can sell it without any consent? That is the question you should be asking. In this day and age, we expect privacy for many things in our life, yet somehow our government thinks it's beyond any of this regulation.

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gadflyNov. 16, 11 3:45 PM

JP55901... "What are people (parents) afraid of?" Perhaps an inability to get health insurance (or having to pay through the nose for it) if their newborn tests positive for an expensive disease. Especially if the Republicans succeed in their attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

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mathguy314Nov. 16, 11 4:20 PM

Thanks to this test, our child was discovered to have Galactosemia, a rare disorder where she can't break down galactose and therefore galactose acts as a toxin and could cause brain damage and even death if not caught soon enough. Since breast milk is high in galactose, before we got the results back we were harming our child without knowing it. Luckily we caught it in advance and avoid serious brain damage. We did fill out a form after having the test done that our daughter's sample be destroyed. We were not informed about this option, we had educated ourselves about this option. Parents, however, should be told that this is an option when the test is being done.

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actualreaderNov. 16, 11 5:08 PM

Researchers probably do need this information to protect future generations, and I have few fears about them misusing the information. But, having seen people's information sold by the state of Minnesota to private firms, I would agree that the last thing you need is this information falling into private-industry hands. Or worse, on their d----d laptops. Our legislative privacy hawks need to start there.

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