Court Sides With State in|Baby Blood Storage Case

     (CN) – Minnesota did not violate families’ privacy rights by collecting and storing children’s blood samples, the state Court of Appeals ruled.

     Alan and Keri Bearder and the parents of 23 other children sued the state and its Department of Health for allegedly collecting blood samples from their infants to test for genetic disorders, and then storing the blood in freezers for use in research.
     The parents claimed the state’s actions violated state privacy laws.
     The state department had collected the samples as part of a public health initiative to test for hereditary disorders.
     The trial court dismissed the families’ lawsuit for failure to state a claim, and Judge Stephen Muehlberg affirmed the decision on appeal.
     “Legislation granting the commissioner broad authority to manage the newborn screening program amount to an ‘express’ provision of law that authorizes collection, retention, use, and dissemination of blood specimens for the newborn screening program, making the genetic privacy act inapplicable,” Muehlberg wrote.

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