Government of the people in action
The Citizens' Council on Health Care demonstrated today what the power of people can accomplish. Twila Brase, RN, who led efforts to stop the State of Minnesota from taking DNA from every newborn to store in its genomic biobank without parental consent, just announced success. Today, Governor Pawlenty vetoed the DNA bill (SF 3138).
As he wrote in his letter to the Senate, while newborn screening helps about 140 babies a year be diagnosed early to allow for medical intervention that may have prevented their deaths or disability, this bill would have exempted the State Department of Health from requiring informed consent to store and use the personally identifiable genetic information for nonscreening purposes. He found the government storing and using genetic information for other purposes concerning. “I believe written informed consent should be obtained for the long-term storage or use of the blood samples for nonscreening research,” he wrote.
Ms Brase issued a press release today thanking the legislators who voted no on the bill and helped to work for its veto. She also encourages everyone who called, emailed or sent in petitions to the Governor to thank him with the same fervency that they asked him to veto the bill, believing that the health department will likely try again next session.
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