Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 9, 2010
Sen. Jonathan Nichols
Bill to Ban Unauthorized Use of Infant DNA Clears Senate
The Senate Judiciary Committee has given its approval
to a bill that would prohibit any medical facility from storing
or using infant DNA for research without the parents’ permission.
Nichols is the author of Senate Bill 1250 which was approved
unanimously by the committee on Tuesday.
“When a child is born, the hospital takes a small blood sample
to screen for certain diseases, and that’s a practice that
is obviously beneficial to the infant. The problem we’ve seen
in other states is that some medical facilities have been keeping
those samples and using them for unauthorized research,” explained
Nichols, R-Norman. “We don’t want that to happen in
The unauthorized collection of DNA samples has sparked lawsuits
in other states, including Texas. The Texas Department of Health
Services and Texas A&M were sued by parents for storing and
doing research on infant DNA collected during these blood screenings.
A settlement in that case requires the destruction of 4.5 million
samples that were stored without the parents’ knowledge or
“There are serious privacy and ethics concerns that have been
breached around the country with the unauthorized databasing of
infant DNA,” Nichols said. “My initial inquiries indicate
this has not occurred in Oklahoma, but requiring consent by law
will help ensure that it never does.”
SB 1250 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
For more information contact:
Sen. Nichols: 405-521-5535