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National DNA register under the radar?

Should blood samples from all newborns be stored forever? This is the proposal from the Ministry of Health and Care Services, which has recently been on a hearing.

A proposal to amend a regulation on genetic testing of all newborns may eventually end up in a national DNA registry. The proposal deals with the newborn screening, which is an offer to new-born parents to test their child for a variety of serious illnesses. Today, the blood samples are stored for six years, mainly to improve the tests. According to consultant Asbjørg Stray-Pedersen at the Department of Newborn Screening at Oslo University Hospital, it all started with their desire to allow screening for two new diseases, and to increase the storage time to ten years. She responds that "eternal storage" has been added to the consultation proposal.

Asbjørg Stray-Pedersen

"Two days after the birth, the mother is asked if she wants the child to be screened for diseases. So good . . .

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Aarseth is a political scientist and a regular journalist at Ny Tid.

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