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
Date Written: 2001
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
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