The Texas Department of State Health Services has announced that more than five million blood samples taken from babies without parental consent will now be destroyed. These samples were taken for scientific research.
The announcement was made after settling a federal lawsuit filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project. The latter had sued Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas A&M University System alleging that the move not to seek parental consent violated constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure.
"As a result of this settlement, DSHS will destroy all bloodspot cards received by the department before May 27, 2009," the agency said in a written statement. "We will continue to be very sensitive to the privacy concerns of parents and the confidentiality of all medical information."
Texas has been collecting blood samples to screen for 27 different birth defects. This procedure was allowed by law and samples could be taken by hospitals, birthing centers and midwives without the need for parental consent.