Are you kidding me?

Because we deliver at home, some things go a bit differently than when you deliver in the hospital. For example, the PKU test. Our midwife brings the forms to our house, does the heel prick, and then we send the results in to the MDH (MN Department of Health) and they do the actual testing. When this testing is done, they save not only the results, but also the blood samples for other testing/research. You do have the option of having these things destroyed. I was planning on doing this. However, as I was looking at the form you fill out to have the samples and results destroyed I got more and more annoyed!

First of all, they make you feel like a criminal for even making the request... "I understand that the risks involved in destroying my child's newborn screening blood sample will result in loss of the blood sample for medical or identification purposes." Yup... that's kind of the point, isn't it??

Then, there is the actual request. You check the boxes for what you wish to have done. Your choices are "I request my child's newborn screening blood sample be destroyed immediately or within twenty-four months of test, whichever is later." and "I request my child's newborn blood screening test results stored at the Minnesota Department of Health's Newborn Screening Program be destroyed immediately of within twenty four months of testing, whichever is later."

Gee... I wonder which is later?? And, what are they doing with the samples in that 24 month period before they are destroyed?? Kind of makes the whole request useless I'm thinking.

To top it all off, if you want to request that the samples/results be destroyed you much have the form notarized. Seriously?? Either that, or we have to provide a copy of the birth certificate and photo ID to Public Health or medical personnel. This person must then sign the form as a witness.

I just don't even know what to say? I'm actually thinking that it's not worth sending in the test. Now I'm going to go refresh my memory on the reasons for the test as well as the possible risks of not testing. Then I'll decide if it's worth filling out the form. But, like I said, what are they doing with the samples/results in a 24 month time period? Seems to me they would be doing all the testing they could in TWO years with the knowledge that they would then be required to destroy everything...

Thanks for letting me rant a bit.

Jericho is doing great, and finally starting to sleep better at night. I am actually feeling pretty rested. This week will be the first week I'll have all the kids home with no adult help around, so I would covet your prayers as we make a true test of the "new normal" here in our home.

**Prayer Request**
Also, if you could pray specifically for me that my depression issues would not mushroom. Many of you know that I am on meds to treat my depression (have been for several years). I try to keep the dosages at a minimum, and so far, things are going well. However, the postpartum period (first year after baby arrives) can be a difficult one for anyone, and the past would indicate that around 3-6 months postpartum is the worst for me. I would love to keep my meds at the low dose I'm taking now, and would appreciate prayer that this would be a smooth year for me.

Well, off to change Shi -- she's smelling a bit ripe! LOL

(Any input as far as the MDH request and PKU testing is welcome. Keep in mind, however, that I do not desire to be *convinced* one way or the other. Please keep your posts kind, constructive, and factual. Thanks!)


Anonymous said...

i will be praying for you...

Lisa Metzger said...

I sawyour post on the Quiverfull Digest and wanted to see photos! She's precious! Congratulations!

On the newborn screening note...I don't know if you're aware, but Bush signed into law The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007 where the govt. will "bank" your baby's DNA for testing purposes. This is taken during the PKU stick. The test and banking can NOT be separated (one refused, the other not). We refused the PKU stick entirely when #8 was born 12/26.

For more info look at my blog post, which has lots of resource links (most are .gov websites, too...scary). As of now, the tests they would use the DNA for are not unethical, but they are not shy in hiding the fact that it will be VERY unethical in no time at all.

Here's my blog post about it: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/carolinametzgers/526682/

~ Lisa Metzger

Courtney said...

We are struggling with all the "routine" newborn procedures right now as well. The MDH website makes you feel like the worst parent in the world for refusing the test, but yah.. I'm not cool with the government "owning" my LOs DNA. Who knows what we'll actually decide to do. We did put in our birth plan(since we are having a hospital birth)that we will delay PKU testing until the 1st well-baby visit since I read somewhere that it's entirely inaccurate until the baby has been drinking breast milk(NOT colostrum)for a full 24hrs and that obviously isn't achieved for a number of days. Good luck with your decision!

Courtney said...

Hey Kristin, I was just wondering what you guys decided to do about this PKU business. Did you decide if it was worth it to try to get them to destroy your LOs sample after they test? I wish there was a way to KNOW that all they did was test and destroy. I've got a sneaky suspicion that they save all the DNA info in the computer and then throw out the actual card which makes the whole submitting the form thing pointless. Oh well, who knows.