17 Oct Police Access to Babies Blood Samples Raises Privacy Issues
Privacy concerns regarding police access to blood samples taken at birth have been raised in New Zealand, following a murder case in which the police used such samples to identify the victim.
Parents, including the mother of the victim Jane Furlong, were reportedly “stunned” to hear that such blood samples and DNA information can be used by the police for identification in criminal investigations. Furlong said that it felt like a “betrayal” since she did not know that the information would be kept, and that the police didn’t even ask for her consent.
However, Dr. Jane O’Hallahan of the National Screening Unit said that the information was only used as a last resort by the police, and that every request is carefully reviewed by the Health Ministry with particular consideration to the individual and the public’s interest in law enforcement and safety.
Source: Stuff NZ