Babies' blood spots
The Sunday Times has exposed that some hospitals are storing millions of babies blood spots for 18 or more years. Originally taken to perform useful health tests at birth, the blood spots could be misused in future to sequence the genome of every baby, as was proposed by the Labour Government in 2003.
The blood spots need to be taken to do important medical tests. Keeping them for a limited time is also useful to check and improve the screening programme. However, there is a danger of misuse if the samples are stored indefinitely, especially if parents and children are unaware of this.
- GeneWatch briefings
- Briefing 27:Bar-Coding Babies: Good for Health? 1st August 2004
- External links
- Press releases
- Consultation responses
- Blood Spots From Newborn Babies: Consultation Response 31st January 2006
- Press articles
- Health Direct: NHS uses babies' blood DNA for secret database (26th May 2010)
- Daily Mail: DNA from millions of newborn babies is secretly stored on NHS database (24th May 2010)
- The Sunday Times: NHS uses babies' blood for secret database (23rd May 2010)
- The Times: Genetic mapping of babies by 2019 will transform preventive medicine (9th February 2009)