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New Jersey SUED for secretly HARVESTING blood from newborns without consent from parents

  The Institute for Justice (IJ) has  filed a lawsuit  against the State of New Jersey alleging that a secret government program is allowing...

 The Institute for Justice (IJ) has filed a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey alleging that a secret government program is allowing for the harvesting and saving of newborn blood without the knowledge or consent of the babies' parents.

Whenever a child is born in New Jersey, the state government can collect and use DNA from the blood samples "for any reason, without informed consent from parents," IJ says.

The case charges that state law in New Jersey currently requires that whenever a baby is born, its blood must be collected and tested for various diseases, a policy similar to what other states require.

"But, after the testing is over, New Jersey's Department of Health keeps the leftover blood for 23 years," IJ warns about what differentiates New Jersey's newborn blood-testing policies from those of other states'.

"The state does not ask parents for their consent to keep their babies' blood, failing to even inform parents that it will hold on to the residual blood. The only way parents could learn about such retention is by proactively looking it up on one of the third-party websites listed on the bottom of the card they're given after the blood draw."

According to IJ, the State of New Jersey can do pretty much anything it wants with newborn baby blood for 23 years. This includes selling it to third parties, giving it to law enforcement without a warrant, or even "selling it to the Pentagon to create a registry – as previously happened in Texas," the IJ legal team added.


In order to collect and save baby's blood, hospitals must be required to first get consent from the parents

What IJ wants to see changed is New Jersey's right to informed consent policies, which currently exclude a child's parents from the equation as medical workers proceed to collect, save and do who-knows-what with baby's blood for several decades under the cover of darkness.

"Parents have a right to informed consent if the state wants to keep their children's blood for decades and use it for purposes other than screening for diseases," said senior IJ lawyer Rob Frommer.

"New Jersey's policy of storing baby blood and DNA and using that genetic information however it wants is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of all New Jersey parents and their newborns."

Hannah Lovaglio, one of several plaintiffs in the case, also commented that she finds it incredibly disturbing that the State of New Jersey under existing law "can enter an incredibly intimate moment, the tender days of childbirth, and take something from our children, which is then held on to for 23 years."

"The lack of consent and transparency causes me to question the intent and makes me worried for my children's future selves."

Another lawyer for IJ by the name of Christie Hebert concurs. She finds New Jersey's baby blood-collecting process uniquely problematic compared to similar laws in other states because there are no protections in place to even try to prevent wrongdoing with babies' blood.

"What makes New Jersey's program so uniquely disturbing is the complete lack of safeguards for future abuse and the lack of consent, which leave the program ripe for abuse," Hebert is quoted as saying.

"Parents should not have to worry if the state is going to use the blood it said it was taking from their baby to test for diseases for other, unrelated purposes."

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