CCHF Issues Genetic Privacy Warning

Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) Issues Warning about HealthPartners’ New myGenetics DNA Research Program

ST. PAUL, Minn. —  Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF) believes the public should think carefully before enrolling in the new HealthPartners’ DNA testing and research program called myGenetics. HealthPartners enrollees and Park Nicollet patients over the age of 18 have been invited to take part in the research program. Invitations to enroll are arriving in mailboxes.  

CCHF has reviewed public-facing documents, including the mailed invitation, and has several concerns:

  • No apparent limit to the type of research that could be conducted on DNA samples.
  • No cautions or warnings about possible harms of genetic research on individuals.
  • No mention that DNA is not deterministic, and findings can be misinterpreted.
  • No consent form to review for similar lack of notice about potential harms.
  • Ownership and control of the specimen/data over the life of the individual is unknown. 

“Is HealthPartners planning to create genetic dossiers on their enrollees and patients? Is this really about patient care or about creating a new line of profit?” asks Twila Brase, RN, PHN, president and co-founder of CCHF. “Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom has long expressed its deep concern about DNA harvesting because of the implications for patient privacy, patient rights, personal autonomy, and individual control of medical decisions. Patients must read the fine print of this research program, or like those who’ve used other ancestry and testing corporations, their DNA and data could be used for much more than generating the reports they receive. It could create genetic dossiers on individuals and a genetic goldmine for HealthPartners.” 

About Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: CCHF exists to protect patient and doctor freedom. As a national, non-partisan health freedom organization, CCHF maintains a patient-centered, privacy focused, free-market perspective.

February 1, 2023

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