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Attorney Philip L. Ellison, of Outside Legal Counsel PLC, makes the following statement regarding the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan finding portions of the Michigan Newborn Screening Program and its connected activities with the Michigan Neonatal Biobank as unconstitutional--
This lawsuit started almost five years ago when a group of parents saw their parental rights being improperly diminished and ignored by government public health officials. The right to make health and medical decisions -- including whether to participate in private or public medical studies -- truly belongs to moms and dads, not a government bureaucrat. The recent decision of the federal court correctly recognizes the same. While this case never sought to halt the Newborn Screening Program, it is about the right of moms and dads to be fully informed so as to make meaningful and intelligent decisions about their newborn infants.
At the State of Michigan's direction, hospitals routinely prick the heels of newborns to draw blood to check for more than 50 diseases, a longstanding practice across the U.S. Leftover blood spots are sent to the Michigan Neonatal Biobank in Detroit for safekeeping. Scientists can later pay a fee to use the spots in various research projects; parents are not consulted as whether to be part of those research projects. More on the case can be viewed at www.stolenblood.com.