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Friday, April 22, 2016

Ind. Decisions - "Court Ruling Strikes a Blow Against the Protection of Baby DNA"

The April 19th Court of Appeals ruling in A.B.Doe v. State Health Commissioner (ILB summary here) is the subject of a long story today by Deborah Hamilton in CharismaNews ("Breaking News. Spiritual Perspective"), headed "Court Ruling Strikes a Blow Against the Protection of Baby DNA." The story begins:

Patient privacy for some of Indiana's youngest citizens—and the fight for the protection of baby DNA nationwide—took a blow this week, as the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled against baby "A.B. Doe," her parents and other families they were representing.

Doe and her parents filed suit against the Indiana State Health Commissioner, the director of the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Genomics and Newborn Screening Program and the Indiana State Department of Health, stating that the baby's dried blood spot taken at the time of her birth was stored without permission.

Judge Heather A. Welch instead ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, Dr. Jerome Adams, Indiana State Health commissioner, and Victoria Buchanan, director of the ISDH Genomics and Newborn Screening Program, stating that Doe "had not sustained, nor was she in immediate danger of sustaining, a direct injury as a result of the storage of her dried blood spot sample," according to court documents.

Citizens' Council for Health Freedom (CCHF), however, takes issue with the decision, stating that, at the core, a breach of constitutional rights is an injury.

"We disagree with the court's ruling that the storage of newborn bloodspots is 'reasonable' and therefore not an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment," said Twila Brase, co-founder and president of CCHF. "This is the child's DNA. Its value for newborn genetic screening disappears after six months and all that's left is the DNA. The long-term storage of baby DNA by state government is not reasonable. It's a constitutional violation."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 22, 2016 02:27 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions