Genetic and Metabolic Screening of Newborns: Must Health Care Providers Seek Explicit Parental Consent?

9 Health Law Journal 62, 2001

51 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2013

See all articles by Sheila M. Wildeman

Sheila M. Wildeman

Schulich School of Law

Jocelyn Downie

Schulich School of Law & Faculty of Medicine

Date Written: 2001

Abstract

In this paper, we provide some background on the history of newborn screening and the legal context within which questions regarding consent must be answered, and then turn to the various arguments that can be made for and against the current approach to parental consent to genetic and metabolic tests administered as part of provincial/territorial newborn screening programs. In the end, we conclude that either practice should be changed to align it with current law such that explicit parental consent is sought for the established tests, or that advocates for maintaining current practices should lobby for legislation permitting newborn screening in the absence of explicit parental consent. The approach to the issue of consent to the new tests can then be built upon a legally defensible foundation.

Keywords: newborn screening, parental consent

Suggested Citation

Wildeman, Sheila M. and Downie, Jocelyn, Genetic and Metabolic Screening of Newborns: Must Health Care Providers Seek Explicit Parental Consent? (2001). 9 Health Law Journal 62, 2001, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2289267

Sheila M. Wildeman (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2
Canada

Jocelyn Downie

Schulich School of Law & Faculty of Medicine ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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