Suit possible over baby DNA sent to military lab for national database

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Mary Ann Roser
Austin American-Statesman
February 23, 2010

An Austin lawyer threatened to pursue a new federal lawsuit Monday after learning that some newborn blood samples in Texas went to the U.S. military for potential use in a database for law enforcement purposes.

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The Department of State Health Services never mentioned the database to Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, who settled a lawsuit in December with the state over the indefinite storage of newborn blood without parental consent, or to the American-Statesman, which first reported on the little-known blood storage practice last spring. Harrington said he thought another suit was likely unless the health department destroys the information obtained from the blood samples or obtains consent.

“This is the worst case of bad faith I have dealt with as a lawyer,” he said Monday.

Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for the Texas attorney general’s office, which represented the health department, fired back. “During this litigation, Harrington was provided accurate answers to the questions he asked,” he said.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 4:06 pm







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