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Doctors explore research potential of blood samples from newborns

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3984 (Published 28 September 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3984
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    Heightened concerns about privacy and a growing potential for research have led to a re-examination in the United States of policies on blood samples taken from newborn babies to screen for treatable genetic diseases.

    At a recent forum on the subject, doctors said that more public education and awareness was needed. The American College of Medical Genetics and the Genetic Alliance sponsored the event just outside Washington, DC, on 23 September.

    “Newborn screening is unique,” said Alan Fleischman, medical director for the charity the March of Dimes, “because the specimens represent a sample of every baby born in the United States.” That amounted to 4.2 million babies a year. “It is potentially a very valuable resource to …

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