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Legislators to consider newborn screening law

Legislators to consider newborn screening law Click to Enlarge Photo:

Mar 17, 2014 at 9:33 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Legislators will consider this week whether the Minnesota Department of Health should have unlimited time to store newborn blood samples.

Reports say a bill before the House Civil Law Committee on Tuesday would allow the department to save blood samples and test results indefinitely. The program tests newborns for 55 rare conditions that could be harmful if not treated early in life.

Under the bill, parents could refuse their consent, but they would have to fill out paperwork to do so.

In January, the Minnesota Department of Health was forced to destroy 1.1 million newborn screening cards after losing a court fight. The department failed to prevail in large part because it had never secured the legal authority to keep the cards and test results.

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