Minnesota Law Review

That’s My Baby: Why the State’s Interest in Promoting Public Health Does Not Justify Residual Newborn Blood Spot Research Without Parental Consent

Ninety-eight percent of infants born in the United States undergo blood tests to screen for a variety of genetic conditions as part of mandatory state newborn screening programs. These “newborn blood spots” (NBS) are frequently stored by state health departments after the initial tests are complete. Recent lawsuits in Texas and Minnesota have exposed states’ use of residual NBS for research unrelated to the initial screenings without parental consent. State public health officials and researchers claim that residual NBS are necessary and vital resources for research to advance public health and well-being and that requiring parental consent would hinder important research. Parents and patient advocacy groups, however, are angry that consent is not obtained and are concerned that the samples could be linked back to their child and used for discriminatory purposes, such as in employment or insurance-coverage decisions.

This Note argues that the state’s interest in promoting public health does not justify the non-consensual use of residual NBS. It proposes a model that states can, and should, implement to improve transparency and allow parents to make informed decisions. The proposal is crafted in a way that respects parental rights and children’s rights, while still allowing the promotion of public health through medical research that seeks to detect new diseases, develop new treatments, and eradicate disease.

:: View PDF

News & Events

  • Minnesota Law Review Alum Remembered 45 Years After Death

    Minnesota Law Review alumnus Tom Cranna was honored at the Annual Banquet this Spring, 45 years after his death. Mr. Cranna was remembered for his contributions to the journal, the school, and the positive impact he had on his family and friends. The Devil’s Lake Journal published a memorial which [...]

  • Follow MLR on Twitter!

    The Minnesota Law Review is proud to announce that we are now on Twitter. Follow us @MinnesotaLawRev for information and updates concerning the petition period and deadlines, the opening and closing of article submissions, our 2014 Symposium: Offenders in the Community, and all other news concerning our authors and publications. [...]

  • Vol. 97 Lead Piece Cited in Al Jazeera Opinion Piece

    A recent Al Jazeera opinion piece that criticizes the Supreme Court’s Daimler decision cites to Volume 97′s lead piece, How Business Fares in the Supreme Court. You can read the Al Jazeera piece here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Masthead for Volume 99 Board

    The masthead for the Board of Volume 99 of the Minnesota Law Review is now available. You can view the masthead here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

  • Above the Law Post Highlights MLR‘s Jump in Journal Rankings

    A recent post on Above the Law highlights the fact that the Minnesota Law Review was ranked 11th in the most recent 2013 edition of the Washington & Lee Law Review Rankings. You can read the post here. Share this: on Twitter on Facebook on Google+

Newsletter

cforms contact form by delicious:days