MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Department of Health has reached a settlement in a case over its practice of storing and using newborn blood samples without parental consent.
The state says it is now destroying over 1 million blood samples gathered as part of its newborn screening program, which screens babies for more than 50 disorders.
Under the settlement recently finalized, the state is paying $975,000 in attorneys' fees for 21 families who sued.
Since 1997, the Health Department has kept leftover blood in a depository and used some for research. Plaintiffs' attorney Scott Kelly says the state acted illegally when it didn't get permission from parents.
The state says that going forward, blood samples will be destroyed after a specified time unless parents agree they may be used.