Wants to keep blood samples from newborns

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The Ministry of Health proposes to store infant blood samples for research indefinitely, instead of destroying them after six years, as is the case today.

Storing blood samples will contribute to health care, quality assurance, method development and research, according to Aftenposten.

Normally, newborns are tested for 23 rare diseases through blood samples that are taken shortly after the child is 2 days old.

“We have received feedback from the People Health Institute (FHI) and researchers that storage of samples can play a crucial role in future research.

– It may be extended to apply to several rare diseases that require early treatment, Minister of Health, Bent Høie, told the newspaper.

The proposal will be distributed for review during the summer. This means that parents can withdraw consent for storage of blood samples whenever they so choose.

– If the population is not sure of this, trust and endorsement of the newborn screening, which aims to protect children from serious illnesses, may be severely impaired, the Chairman of the Newborn Screening Group, Trond Markestad, states.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today