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The public is encouraged to attend the hearing and send comments to the judge

St. Paul, Minnesota -- Due to the efforts of Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC), the Minnesota Department of Health will hold a public hearing on the department's proposed revision of the newborn screening rule. The hearing is scheduled to take place in two weeks, on Tuesday, January 23, 2007.

"The health department's revised rule does not recognize the parent's right to be given complete information about the government's newborn genetic testing program. Before parents can make informed decisions about their legal options - including the right to forgo testing or obtain private testing for their baby - they must be told the whole story," said Twila Brase, president of CCHC.

"Parents must not only be informed about the positive aspects of the program; they must also be told about the negative aspects, including current and potential future uses of the baby's genetic information," she added.

The state health department is required by law to hold a public hearing on the proposed rule change if it receives at least 25 letters requesting a hearing. Anyone interested in testifying can attend the hearing and sign up to be heard. The public is also encouraged to send comments and concerns to the judge prior to the hearing.

Public Hearing Details

DATE: Tuesday, January 23, 2007
TIME: Starts at 9:00 a.m. and continues until all interested persons have been heard
LOCATION: Freeman Building, Minnesota Department of Health
ROOM: 145-B
ADDRESS: MDH, 625 Robert St N, St. Paul, MN 55164

Public can send comments to the judge

In addition to public testimony taken at the hearing, the judge is accepting the public's comments prior to the hearing. Send them to Judge Barbara Neilson, Office of Administrative Hearings, 100 Washington Square, Suite 1700, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2138. Email: (reference "Newborn Screening Rule Chapter 4615" in subject line); Telephone: 612-341-7604; Fax: 612-349-2665. CC the MN Dept. of Health: (or mail to Patricia Segal Freeman, PO Box 64975, St. Paul, MN 55164-0899; Fax: 651-201-5501, Phone: 651-201-5414, 1-877-676-5414)

For more information on the proposed rule change, and the hearing:

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935