Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff has strengthened the Health Information Privacy Code 1994 to improve legal protections for newborns’ bloodspot samples collected as part of a national newborn metabolic screening programme. The amendment will restrict how information derived from the samples may be used and disclosed, Shroff’s office has announced. “DNA testing is getting cheaper and faster all the time and that makes national bloodspot collections more valuable,” Schroff said, noting, “To protect this important programme, which saves dozens of lives each year, we want to give parents confidence their babies’ blood samples aren’t going to be misused.”
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