Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Long-Term Storage of Newborn Blood Samples

Updated: 03/06/2014 6:45 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson

File Photo: Minnesota Supreme Court
File Photo: Minnesota Supreme Court

Lawmakers this week are discussing the collection of newborn blood samples.

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services heard testimony on a bill that would allow the health department to store baby blood samples for long-term for research.

Since 1997, the Health Department has kept leftover blood in a depository and used some for research, but that changed in 2011, when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that long-term storage without parental consent violated state law.

The law was changed in 2012 so that long-term storage now requires the parents’ permission. 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.