Baby blood spots to be kept indefinitely
Fri, 16 Sep 2011 3:05p.m.
Cards containing blood spots from heel prick tests on newborn babies will be kept indefinitely with enhanced access protection, the Government has decided.
The blood spot cards, known as Guthrie cards, have been collected since the late 1960s as part of a screening programme.
The Ministry of Health had intended keeping them indefinitely but concerns about privacy issues were raised, and until now there had been no formal government position.
Health Minister Tony Ryall says the cards were an important part of the screening programme for babies and identified those with serious metabolic disorders.
Mr Ryall said there would be new protection around the cards including written consent for them to be used for research and the privacy commissioner was considering developing a code which would regulate the use of information.
The cards were used to identify victims of the Christchurch quake, and may be used to identify Pike River victims.
National Testing Centre director Dianne Webster told Radio New Zealand five of the cards were released for victim identification in Christchurch and the centre is in discussions with police about their use for Pike River.
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10/01/2012 10:44:43 a.m.
Should my child die under terrible circumstances and be unidentifiable those blood spots could give me great, admittedly terrible relief and closure~~~ unfortunately my children would not have that as a possibility should the circumstances be reversed. Surely "enhanced access protections" should allay any fears of misappropriation.
20/09/2011 3:21:35 p.m.
this government is doing whatever it like when ever it likes forget human rights and things we may as well be a communist country my wife and i made sure we got our cards back over 8 years ago when it was found they had taken these heel pricks without proper consent
20/09/2011 8:30:02 a.m.
its pure theft our genetic information. why aren't the maori's complaining?. I would not allow anyone to steal the blood of my child. it was said at the begining it was to test for vitamin k deficiences. absolute lie. why not get it over and done with and chip us, bar code us and don't forget to get every single visitor to visit as well so we don't let them get away with not being tagged. hey the census is coming up soonish lets be tagged then. wow the government could do so much with us with all that information on us. we could have our money loaded into the chip as well , lets start with beneficaries and then onto to every one else.
18/09/2011 1:29:12 p.m.
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