Do you know what tests they do on your baby??

You know, I never thought twice about the newborn screenings they do when you have a baby. I figured they must be important or they wouldn’t do them. Until I read this article form Junkfood Science. I know some of you have heard about the PKU test…the one that detects the rare metabolic disorder where the body can’t break down a certain amino acid and ultimately causes mental retardation. The test was meant to detect it early so they could start a restricted diet to lessen or prevent the mental retardation it causes. Sounds good right? Who wouldn’t want this test done on their children?

But there is a down side. When they started the newer test in 1960, there were an overwhelmingly number of false positives. What doctors didn’t know was that with a healthy child (say one with a false positive) that the restrictive diet recommended for PKU could be just as damaging. There were many many healthy children that were damaged, even killed, because of this false positive test result and subsequent treatment.

Now, the article isn’t so much about PKU…but the dangers inherent in forcing testing on newborns without any long term studies…as well as doing these tests without parental consent. That isn’t even the bad part!!! The bad part is that not only can most states test your baby without your consent, they can also store your baby’s genetic material to be given to a lab at a later time for scientific research…again without your consent.

Now, add that to this miraculous new way that medical databases are being merged and easier to check by, oh lets say, insurance companies….

See where I am getting with this?

There is a whole lot more to read and think about…just surf over to Junkfood Science and read it for yourself and decide.



Filed under Civil Liberties, Family, Kids

4 responses to “Do you know what tests they do on your baby??

  1. Pingback: More On Your Genetic Information… « It’s An Insane World Out There

  2. We’re very fortunate in the UK in that no testing can be done on you or your child without your permission and everything has to be fully explained to you – both the pros and the cons – before you give that consent.

  3. Sandy

    That is what is scary to me too…that they are doing this without consent. Test for stuff…fine…but don’t ship my kid’s (and MINE) DNA off for study without telling me!

  4. I’m not worried so much about the required newborn testing, since it does help some children avoid serious injury or death, as I am about the storage of infant genetic material. I find that extremely disturbing, and though as a libertarian I am against passing unnecessary laws, I think there should be a law against this practice.

    It’s one thing if the parents agree to it. It’s quite another to do this without the parents’ knowledge or consent.

    I rarely place this label (though some libertarians use it on a regular basis), but now I will freely call this practice “statist”.

    It brings to mind the states requiring young girls to be immunized against cervical cancer, even if their parents don’t approve, when in truth the vaccine doesn’t prevent most cervical cancers, and it is untested insofar as its longterm effect. I find that extremely frightening.