Doctors' group wants DNA data of babies used for genetic research
A doctors’ group is urging the HSE to reconsider its plan to destroy DNA information on babies born between 1984 and 2002.
The HSE has published notices telling people to contact it by March 31st for the heel-prick test to be sent to them, otherwise it would be disposed of. It said it must do this “to comply with national and EU data protection law”.
The Royal College of Physicians said research using the information could be used to discover genetic diseases in Irish people or give parents reasons why their babies died of sudden infant death.
The heel-prick test is carried out on all newborns to screen for rare diseases, such as metabolic disorders.
The HSE plans to store the information for 10 years. This year it will destroy information taken between 1984 and 2002. From next year it will be done every year for information over 10 years old.
To request a card return contact 1850-241850 or visit newbornscreening.ie.