Parents may want to take notice of a court ruling involving baby DNA.
After learning their baby's dried blood spot taken at the time of her birth was stored without permission, the parents of a child identified as "A.B. Doe" filed suit against the Indiana state health commissioner, the director of the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Genomics and Newborn Screening Program, and the Indiana State Department of Health.
The Indiana Court of Appeals recently ruled against "Doe," her parents and other families they were representing.
According to the judge, the child had not sustained - nor was she in immediate danger of sustaining - a direct injury as a result of the storage of her dried blood spot sample.
Twila Brase, R.N. and president of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, disagrees with the court's ruling.
"I think it's really important for parents to understand the government could not take their DNA as an adult and store it, keep it or anything else without their consent unless they're a criminal," says Brase. "But at the birth of a baby, state health departments have decided that the DNA of children is a valuable substance, and so they have started to keep it, to make it available to researchers and for other purposes."
When the government holds your DNA and considers ownership, Brase says the government can do whatever it wants with the DNA.
"They can sequence it, they can find everything out that's in your DNA without the child's consent and they can call that research," she says. "Some people will look at this and they just forget that research can be both good and bad."