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Parents win key ruling in Michigan newborn blood dispute

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The decision this week is likely to have an impact on how Michigan maintains millions of dried blood spots and makes them available for outside research.

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has found key parts of Michigan’s newborn blood-testing program unconstitutional. Four parents challenged the program, raising concerns about how leftover samples are used long after screening for rare diseases has taken place.

The lawsuit is not a class action. But the decision this week is likely to have an impact on how Michigan maintains millions of dried blood spots and makes them available for outside research. Parents are given a form at childbirth, seeking consent to use blood spots for research.

But attorney Phil Ellison argues that the form is vague and leaves parents without enough information. Federal Judge Thomas Ludington ruled in favor of the parents on more than a dozen issues.

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