Judge: State can take, keep newborns' data

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    A judge in Minnesota has ruled the state can routinely collect, analyze, store and retrieve biological samples that include DNA from all newborns even though a state law specifically requires prior written authorization.

    The decision from Hennepin County District Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum dismissed a case brought by members of nine families who alleged the state was going beyond what it was authorized to do.

    Although not part of the lawsuit, Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care, has been monitoring the dispute since its beginning, battling the state Department of Health, which reportedly has been taking and warehousing newborns' genetic makeup for years but not following "written consent requirements."

    The group has cited a number of cases in which the state's genetic privacy act law apparently was ignored, or there was an attempt to ignore it.

    For example, one grandmother reported:

    "My daughter signed a paper stating she did not want the PKU test done because of the DNA stealing (I was there when she did that). The nurse huffed out of the room saying that stuff doesn't happen. After my grandchild was born, a different nurse took the baby. My daughter heard my granddaughter start crying. She found out her heel was getting pricked. My daughter became furious stating that she signed off on not getting the test. The nurse said there was nothing in her chart saying that. My daughter demanded the blood sample back. The nurse said they'd destroy it, but my daughter demanded it back and got it."

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