The Minnesota Senate took the first of two votes today on SF 3138, which would require the State government to get the informed consent of parents before warehousing and using their baby’s DNA, and to destroy the blood and DNA illegally collected on newborns for ten years by the Health Department. [Original story here.] According to Twila Brase, RN, President of the Citizens' Council on Health Care, the Senate voted against the legislation in a 22-35 vote. She reports:The Senate just voted to strip citizens of parent rights, privacy rights, patient rights and DNA property rights. They voted to make every citizen a research subject of the State government, starting at birth. They voted to let the government create genetic profiles of every citizen without their consent.
Every newborn baby will have their DNA taken at birth, warehoused in a State genomic biobank, and given away to genetic researchers without parent consent—or in adulthood, without the individual's consent. Already, the health department reports that 42,210 children have been subjected to genetic research without their consent.
The MN state senator representing me voted against this bill. I emailed him to let him know how disappointed I was and that he wouldn't have my vote when it was time for him to be re-elected.
I then emailed my state representative, Bud Heidgerken, and asked him to vote for this bill, not against it. I asked him if he really wanted his children's and grandchildren's DNA used for genetic profiling that could possibly keep them from getting jobs/insurance.
Today, I got a personal, hand-written note, in the mail, from him. He said he was with me on this one, but I should also write the governor, as he might not be with us (so I will be emailing Governor Pawlenty also about this one). Rep. Keidgerken says he generally always votes against more government, and that this is another attempt for the government to delve into our personal-private lives and those of our children. He thanked me for caring and keeping him informed. This a man who has my vote next election, I don't give a rat's ass if he's Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent. He's representing me and my beliefs and took the time to write a personal response to an email. We need more legislators like that.
ETA: My state senator voted against this bill, so I won't be voting for him when the time comes. The bill did pass the MN Senate, 46 to 19. Now we're waiting on the House to pass it and Pawlenty to sign it (I'm emailing him to recommend that he sign this bill into law).