- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Reading the July 16, 2008 issue letter to the editor "Scary," I find Ms. Packard's view rather extreme.
Ms. Packard does point out some features of this new federal mandate that individual states and parents need to be aware and cautious. Presently, 11 states have enacted legislation to restrict DNA's various uses and regulate privacy to families and individuals.
There are good usages to the collection of DNA and some usages which could violate the privacy of individuals. The use of DNA is not a new thing or procedure! It is used to catalog criminals who are violent child predators and in some states all convicted felons. It can be a tool to determine certain birth defects in newborns or diseases where when detected early can be eliminated and increase the infant's quality of life. It can be utilized to effectively determine paternity where runaway fathers need to be pointed out for the purpose of courts placing responsibility.
The ethics surrounding this issue are important and has caused concern to both the medical community and citizen groups. I am in no way either approving or disapproving ways in which these programs should be operated. There are just too many facets to the ethics which surround the issue. These ethics are being looked at by many groups, universities and medical entities and making recommendations to individual states. Legislators, I am sure, will be forthcoming with applicable laws. I think the federal government expected states to further expand in certain areas the program or restrict the program in areas where the ethics of private individuals would be violated. Laws regarding information surrounding our medical records are presently in effect and will impact surely upon DNA Newborn Screenings. The ethics surrounding this issue are very complicated and procedures ongoing must deal with each instance where a person's privacy would be violated unfairly.
The surrounding circumstances and ethics regarding this law and its procedures can be researched by anyone interested by going to:
Or just enter "DNA collection - newborn" in your Google search box and "go."
You will find such blogs as "Citizens' Council on Health Care," which does not think the federal bill should have been passed. This is a Minnesota-based liberal organization however and anything passed by the Bush administration will be tainted to these organizations, even if it was generated and sent to the President by a Democratic Congress.