Babies' blood spots

The Sunday Times [subscription needed] 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.


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