Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February
Bill to Ban Unauthorized Use of Infant DNA Clears
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. Sen.
Jonathan 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 Oklahoma.”
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 consent.
“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
SB 1250 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
For more information contact:
Sen. Nichols: 405-521-5535