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Legal News in Minnesota

Newborn Screening

Farrish Johnson attorneys Scott Kelly and Daniel Bellig successfully represented several plaintiffs in a case that challenged the Minnesota Health Department’s practice of storing blood samples taken from newborns indefinitely.

Under the program, blood samples are taken from newborn babies in the hospital and sent to the Health Department, in order to be tested for health disorders. The screening, however, only uses a portion of the sample. The Health Department has been keeping the remaining indefinitely, unless requested to have the sample destroyed.

Farrish Johnson attorneys argued that the practice was in violation of the state’s Genetic Privacy Act and the Minnesota Supreme Court ultimately agreed and determined that, without written consent from parents, blood samples could not be stored or used for other purposes.

For their work on this case, the Mankato genetic privacy attorneys at the Farrish Johnson Law Office, Scott Kelly, and Daniel Bellig along with Minneapolis  attorney Samuel Hanson were selected as Minnesota Lawyer’s Attorneys of the Year 2011.