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Texans unknowingly donate children’s blood to research

Posted By admin On February 23, 2009 @ 12:23 pm In Featured Stories | Comments Disabled

Mary Ann Roser
Austin-American Statesman [1]
Monday, February 23, 2009

For almost seven years, the state has been indefinitely storing blood from nearly all newborns in Texas without their parents’ consent for possible use in medical research.

The blood is collected as part of a 44-year-old state-mandated newborn screening program in which hospitals, birthing centers and midwives draw blood from a baby’s heel — parental consent isn’t required for that, either — so the state can test for a host of birth defects. The state either discarded the blood after six months or, more recently, stored it for three years before destroying it.

But starting in 2002, the state health department began collecting and keeping blood indefinitely for current or future medical research, a practice that has been the subject of a legal challenge in Minnesota.

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Texans unknowingly donate childrens blood to research obamadecept 340x169 [2]

Five dots of blood are collected on paper for the screening and then stored.

Under the health department’s policy, the samples can be used by the medical community for things like cancer research, birth defects studies and calibration of lab equipment, said Doug McBride, spokesman for the Department of State Health Services.

The law doesn’t require that parents be told how the blood might be used. But if parents are aware of the blood draws, Texas law lets them opt out only for religious reasons.

Parental consent isn’t obtained, McBride said, because “requiring permission might be more costly and could require more time of hospital staff. But our real concern would be for the babies with detectable disorders that weren’t detected because their parents declined the screening — babies who had no say in that decision.”

Full story here. [1]


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URLs in this post:

[1] Austin-American Statesman: http://www.statesman.com/search/content/news/stories/local/02/22/0222dna.html

[2] Image: http://www.prisonplanet.tv/subscribe.html

[3] Texas ordered to destroy five million blood samples illegally taken from babies without consent: http://www.prisonplanet.com/texas-ordered-to-destroy-five-million-blood-samples-illegally-taken-from-babies-without-consent.html

[4] Storage of newborns’ blood samples raises privacy concerns: http://www.prisonplanet.com/storage-of-newborns%e2%80%99-blood-samples-raises-privacy-concerns.html

[5] DNA from millions of newborn babies is secretly stored on NHS database: http://www.prisonplanet.com/dna-from-millions-of-newborn-babies-is-secretly-stored-on-nhs-database.html

[6] Research links rise in Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault: http://www.prisonplanet.com/research-links-rise-in-falluja-birth-defects-and-cancers-to-us-assault.html

[7] State agrees to destroy controversial infant blood samples: http://www.prisonplanet.com/state-agrees-to-destroy-controversial-infant-blood-samples.html

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