Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Useless Or Dangerous?

Did you hear about this one? President Bush recently signed the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act into law. The quick summary is (emphasis added):

A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish grant programs to provide for education and outreach on newborn screening and coordinated followup care once newborn screening has been conducted, to reauthorize programs under part A of title XI of such Act, and for other purposes.

I'm still reading things over for myself, but I'm pretty sure it means that the blood samples taken at birth would be included in this screening. Oh, and I've yet to see any language pertaining to "parental consent." Lots about raising awareness and informing parents--nothing at all about asking parents.

Here's a neat part from the summary (emphasis added):

Section 5: Requires the Secretary, acting through the Administrator, to establish and maintain a central clearinghouse of current information on newborn screening. Sets forth requirements for such clearinghouse, including: (1) ensuring that the clearinghouse is available on the Internet and is updated at least quarterly;

But wait! There's more! Go see for yourself. Here's the actual text.

Besides the fact that this is egregiously beyond the proper scope of government, why should we trust them with personal, private information again?

At any rate--it's too late. It's already been signed into law. Hmph. I'm sure I'll have more thoughts about this as I consider the implications more, but just thought you'd want to know!

Via Consent of the Governed

1 comment:

C. August said...

You're being paranoid. What could be wrong with a small program to monitor the health of newborns? Don't you like babies?

By the way, I see that you're due for your dental checkup, and your kids' vaccines are close to being out of date. We feel that you should take proactive action. We'll send over some Community Outreach Coordinators to facilitate your compliance with this helpful initiative.