State agrees to destroy controversial infant blood samples
2009 12 27

By Martin Bartlett | KVUE.com


The Texas Department of State Health services has about four months to destroy blood samples taken and stored without permission from millions of babies.



State law allows the department to collect those blood samples for routine disease testing, but the state's been hanging on to millions of blood samples since the testing began in 2002.

Dad Michael Neff says blood samples taken from his two daughters should have been destroyed.
He fears the state might have used those blood samples in research projects or sold them to insurance companies.

“I don't think my kid's DNA should be out there, and if it is it should be mine and their mother's decision,” Neff said.

The Department of State Health Services now agrees with Neff’s position.

They've settled a lawsuit filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project over the samples which the state was keeping without getting permission from parents.

"When they do this secretly it raises the specter that their motives aren't pure,” said Texas Civil Rights Project attorney Jim Harrington

As a result of the lawsuit, he explained, samples taken before May 27, 2009, will be destroyed by mid-March 2010.

The state has also agreed to post online a list of any research projects in which those blood samples were used.

The state will also post information about the program on its website in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

A state law which went into effect over the summer allows parents of children born since may of this year to tell the state not to keep the data on their children.

The state says it will continue to collect the date for routine testing and destroy them once those tests are done.

"We have no problem with that, there is a legitimate state interest in that it can be beneficial -- there is no doubt about that,” Harrington said.

The Department of State Health Services declined KVUE’s request for an on-camera interview.

They e-mailed a statement to us this afternoon saying that they'd comply with settlement and destroy those samples.

“DSHS believes settling this lawsuit is in the best interest of this program’s core mission to screen all newborn babies in Texas for life-threatening disorders. Newborn screening saves children’s lives, and settling this lawsuit allows us to continue operating this critical program,” the statement said.

“DSHS is complying with all the requirements of that legislation, including the provision allowing parents to have blood spots from their infants destroyed rather than stored.”

Article from:
As a result of the lawsuit, he explained, samples taken before May 27, 2009, will be destroyed by mid-March 2010.

The state has also agreed to post online a list of any research projects in which those blood samples were used.

The state will also post information about the program on its website in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

A state law which went into effect over the summer allows parents of children born since may of this year to tell the state not to keep the data on their children.

The state says it will continue to collect the date for routine testing and destroy them once those tests are done.

"We have no problem with that, there is a legitimate state interest in that it can be beneficial -- there is no doubt about that,” Harrington said.

The Department of State Health Services declined KVUE’s request for an on-camera interview.

They e-mailed a statement to us this afternoon saying that they'd comply with settlement and destroy those samples.

“DSHS believes settling this lawsuit is in the best interest of this program’s core mission to screen all newborn babies in Texas for life-threatening disorders. Newborn screening saves children’s lives, and settling this lawsuit allows us to continue operating this critical program,” the statement said.

“DSHS is complying with all the requirements of that legislation, including the provision allowing parents to have blood spots from their infants destroyed rather than stored.”

Article from:
KVUE.com



Related Articles
DNA of one-year-old baby has been stored on Government's database
Police say taking blood samples will help curb drunk driving
Calls to jail doctor who cloned dead girl Cady's blood
Politicians and celebrities granted permission to keep their names off child database
DNA database 'breach of rights'
DNA database plans for 10-year-olds who 'could become criminals'
Criminal DNA databases get a constitutional stamp of approval
Is your baby’s blood in a DNA database?
All your genes are belong to us


Latest News from our Front Page

If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would Anyone Notice?
2014 10 01
The subject enters a room in which a 12-year-old boy is seated. A 20-minute conversation ensues. The subject quizzes the boy about current events and other topics to get a sense of his intelligence and personality. But the boy is not what he appears to be. Unbeknownst to the subject, the boy is wearing a radio receiver in his ear, and ...
Obama has had accurate intelligence about ISIS since BEFORE the 2012 election, says administration insider
2014 10 01
‘President Barack Obama’s intelligence briefings have provided him with specific information since before he won re-election in 2012 about the growing threat of the terror group now known alternatively as ISIS and ISIL, an administration insider told MailOnline on Monday. ‘Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate ...
Can holding a magnet against your head help defeat depression?
2014 10 01
Former GP Sue Mildred suffered from crippling depression and anxiety for 20 years. On two occasions it was so severe that she ended up in hospital, and for 15 years she was unable to work. Sue, 51, has tried antidepressants, talking therapies and, out of desperation, even ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), where an electric current is passed through the brain. This did ...
Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police
2014 09 30
Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, ...
Scottish Independence: Protesters demand revote
2014 09 30
Pro-independence campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament for the second day in a row, this time to demand a revote of the September 18 referendum. While yesterday’s “Rally For A Revote” saw the return of Saltires and Yes banners to Holyrood, it did not match the turnout for the “Voice Of The People” rally held on Saturday, when up 3000 people ...
More News »