DID YOU KNOW??
“…[M]ost parents are completely stunned when they find out that their child’s blood is being held by the State. They have no recollection and they think it’s unlawful.
Newborn screening is the most widely performed type of genetic testing in the United States today. . . . Most states, including Connecticut and New York, do not require parental consent. . . .”
Connecticut State Law mandates that all newborns delivered in Connecticut be screened for selected genetic and metabolic disorders. The Newborn Screening Program consists of three components: Testing, Tracking, and Treatment. Specimens are tested at the Department of Public Health (DPH) State Laboratory and all abnormal results are reported to the DPH Tracking Unit who reports the results to the primary care providers and assures referrals are made to the State funded Regional Treatment Centers. – All nice and dandy till you find out they can keep the blood samples for undisclosed amounts of times and give to third parties for testing. I was able to find out that the law does state that a parent may refuse the test for Religious reasons here in CT, but that only helps if the parents are aware of the tests to begin with. A majority of parents do not even know that this database of our children’s blood samples exists here in the United States and each state has their own set of rules. across the pond, Britain even has this process in effect and some samples have been kept from the 1970’s – indefinitely.
This topic came up yesterday among some of my friends and many were unaware this is happening right here right now. Funny how the hospital provided me with a folder and 3 different pamphlets for pictures for my new baby – but not even a run off copy on plain paper about this. I suggest also as a little side note that you request yours and your newborns Hospital records – your entitled to them – and might find what is in them fascinating and interesting. Like I didn’t know they sent my placenta to a lab to see if it was all in tact and alright. Anyway each hospital is different in their request standards – I had to go down and sign a form and in two weeks then sent me the records. Requesting the records, for me, was a good thing since I delivered emergency at a different hospital then my doctor works at so I wanted to make sure I had all the info and to be nosey and see what went on. Found out they put erethromician drops in the babies eyes, gave him a vitamin K shot and a few other things I previously didn’t know about.
Back to the story at hand on DNA/ Blood samples – there are a few states that give the parents an opt out option – and of those states, Minnesota, also has a statute in place that a mother can post this sign in her hospital room after giving birth – pretty cool if you ask me.
Do NOT prick the heel of my baby for Newborn
Genetic Screening (“PKU test”) without getting
my permission!* I want to protect my baby’s
privacy and civil rights! That means: finding me,
coming back later, or even waking me up!
Consent or refuse to consent
to the Minnesota Department of Health:
a. Collecting my baby’s blood and DNA (MN Statutes 13.386)
b. Storing my baby’s blood and DNA (MN Statutes 13.386)
c. Using my baby’s blood and DNA (MN Statutes 13.386)
d. Disseminating (sharing) my baby’s blood and DNA (MN Statutes 13.386)