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CJ Griffin Quoted in CBS News and Other Publications Regarding Privacy Concerns Over Use of Infant Blood Tests


CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in CBS news article, “Privacy Concerns prompt states to reexamine storing newborns’ heel blood tests.” The article discusses a recent partial settlement of a lawsuit brought by Michigan parents alleging that they did not receive clear information to provide informed consent to allow blood spots taken from their children at birth as part of a mandatory screening process to be used in research by the state. As part of the settlement, Michigan officials agreed to destroy more than 3 million blood spots.  In response to the argument that parents’ privacy concerns are overblown, the article cites a lawsuit filed by Griffin on behalf of the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender and the New Jersey Monitor. The lawsuit filed by Griffin alleges that police obtained a blood sample from New Jersey’s newborn screening program to perform a DNA analysis to link the father of the baby (who is now elementary school age) to a crime. The lawsuit was filed after the state declined to answer the request by the Office of the Public Defender and the New Jersey Monitor pursuant to the Open Public Records Act for information on how many times police had asked for newborn screening samples and which law enforcement agencies made the requests. 

New Jersey keeps the records on file for 23 years, said CJ Griffin, a lawyer representing the public defender’s office and the New Jersey Monitor in the lawsuit.

Griffin said her clients aren’t challenging the program to test newborn blood for diseases. “It’s more the lack of transparency, and safeguards, and information about storage, and we don’t have any information about appropriate use,” she said.


To view the article on CBS News, click here  

To view the Kaiser Health News article, click here  

To view the Idaho Capital Sun Article, click here

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