State storing blood samples without parents’ OK

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana Department of Health Department official says the state has blood samples from babies born since 1991 stored for possible use in medical research, saving it without permission from their parents.

The department’s Genomics & Newborn Screening Program Director Bob Bowman says the state has collected blood samples of more than 2 million children and is storing it in a warehouse.

Indiana changed its policy last year and began asking parents whether they would allow their newborn baby’s blood to be used for research. But Bowman says the state is struggling with what to do with the blood samples collected before that.

The health department has posted forms on its Web site allowing parents to request their child’s sample be destroyed or saved for research.

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