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Newborn Screening Suit

A Michigan parent is suing over the state's newborn screening test, Michigan Radio reports.

By state law, infants in Michigan are tested for about 50 genetic diseases using a small blood sample, Michigan Radio adds. It notes that if the results come back positive — which occurs for about 250 babies in Michigan each year — the parents are informed.

But, parent and lawyer Philip Ellison argues that the testing — though commendable — is unconstitutional without parents' consent and has filed a federal lawsuit, Michigan Radio says. Ellison tells it that he only found out about the program after his son was born and that the hospital did not tell him how he could have his son's samples destroyed after the test was complete. Otherwise, the samples are stored and sold to a blood bank for use in research. But Ellison says they have also been accessed by law enforcement, which he says raises concerns about unconstitutional searches and seizures, the radio station says.

Ellison tells Michigan Radio that he doesn't want the program to end, just for consent to be obtained and for instructions on how to opt out of research to be made clearer.