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Supreme Court Blocks Government Plan To Claim Ownership Of DNA, tells government: Hands off babies’ DNA

Posted in Big Brother, DNA, Eugenics, Eugenics by State with tags , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2011 by saynsumthn

In a long running case, a Supreme Court has ruled to limit the use of blood samples collected from newborns by the government.

The case has exposed the fact that there is an ongoing semi-covert movement by state and federal governments to claim ownership of every newborn baby’s DNA for the purpose of genetic research without the consent of individual citizens.

The Minnesota Court ruled Wednesday that the Minnesota Department of Health is violating the law in storing, using and disseminating newborn screening test results and newborn DNA.

Overruling a lower court’s decision, the state Supreme Court found that the samples are “Genetic Information” under the State Genetic Privacy Act, and held that “unless otherwise provided, the Department must have written informed consent to collect, use, store, or disseminate [the blood samples].”

The case had been brought by nine families with 25 children. The Citizen’s Council for Health Freedom, which has monitored the case’s progress since it was launched, has expressed concern about the possible eugenics influences that could result from inappropriate use of DNA data.

President Twila Brase said, “We are cheered by this good news. When our organization discovered the state health department’s baby DNA warehouse in 2003 and the use of newborn DNA for genetic research without parent consent, we determined to do all that we could to stop this practice. No state law expressly permits these activities.”

She said, “We are pleased that these nine families were willing to sue the state of Minnesota. Their action and this decision now secures the genetic privacy rights and informed written consent rights of all Minnesota parents and newborn citizens.”

The majority opinion, written by Justice Helen M. Meyer, said, “The [state’s] Genetic Privacy Act … restricts the collection, use, storage, and dissemination of blood samples collected pursuant to the newborn screening statutes.

“The newborn screening statutes provide an express exception to the Genetic Privacy Act only to the extent that the [health] department is authorized to administer newborn screening by testing the samples for heritable and congenital disorders, recording and reporting those test results, maintaining a registry of positive cases for the purpose of follow-up services, and storing those test results as required by federal law.”

Read more: Court tells government: Hands off babies’ DNA

Read Opinion by the Court here

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