CCHC Resolution on Parent Consent for Newborn Genetic Testing Added to 2006 MN Republican Platform

Saint Paul, Minnesota - Minnesota Republicans today said parent consent should be required for newborn genetic testing, and for government collection of infant DNA.

"This is a victory for parents. This is a victory for privacy," said Twila Brase, president of Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC). "Republicans from across the state have declared that parents have a right to control whether genetic tests are done on their children and whether state government gets access to their child's genetic code."

Delegates at the State Convention of the Minnesota Republican Party added the following language to the State Platform, under the "Preserving Civil Rights" plank:

"Requiring informed opt-in consent of parents for newborn genetic testing, or for the Minnesota Department of Health to retain their children's DNA."

CCHC had sent a similar resolution statewide to CCHC supporters prior to party caucus meetings in March. The resolution was in response to learning that the Minnesota Department of Health had failed to implement a 2003 law requiring hospitals to tell parents they could opt-out of newborn genetic testing, or choose to have the blood specimen destroyed and the genetic test results stricken from the Minnesota Department of Health database. The blood specimens of more than 600,000 children are now considered property of the state of Minnesota.

"We're pleased that Republicans have taken a stand for genetic privacy and genetic property rights. All that's needed now is for state lawmakers to write parent consent into law," she added.

Media Contact:

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