Newborn Screening Settlement 14 Jan 14

The Minnesota Department of Health has reached a settlement in a case over its practice of storing and using newborn blood samples without parental consent. The state says it is now destroying over 1 million blood samples gathered as part of its newborn screening program, which screens babies for more than 50 disorders. Under the settlement, the state is paying $975,000 in attorneys’ fees for 21 families who sued. Since 1997, the Health Department has kept leftover blood in a depository and used some for research, usually without the parents permission. Now blood samples will be destroyed after a specified time unless parents agree they may be used.