What Really Happens When the Hospital Takes Your Newborn’s Blood​

newborn babyYou've delivered and met your baby. She's whisked off by the nurse and taken for checks and testing. Her heel is pricked and her blood is collected on a sample card. Do you know what happens with it? You're about to because a new bill is in the works that will argue that all government funded research will have to first obtain a parent's signature before using their baby's blood samples.

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Soon after their birth, every newborn American baby's heels are pricked with a needle and their blood samples are collected. These drops of blood are then sent off to be tested for roughly 40 genetic diseases. On top of that, they're also catalogued by the government, and become its property, sometimes they're even given to medical researchers for studies.

From the maternity ward to the scientists' labs, these blood samples have gotten parents worked up, naturally. Not only is there a new federal act that would require a parent's signature, but a separate bill in California is now up for debate and argues how parents should be made aware of their child's participation in studies like this.

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This "Newborn Blood Sample Privacy" bill will call into question exactly who gets informed of the samples and when. And it's following the recent developments in two other states. In Texas and Minnesota, after parents filed lawsuits, both states destroyed their whole collection of cards.

But this latest uproar is looking to give parents detailed information about their baby's sample, the later testing, and the possible contribution to the medical community. Most of all, the proposed bill will also give them the option to opt in to participate.

Parents, let the debate begin.

What do you think about his new proposed bill?

 

 

Image via Arun Roisri/shutterstock

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