"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Health Department's "DNA WAREHOUSE" Bill - The Good GOP Arguments; The Troublesome DFL Statements


  • The Vote on the Holberg Consent Amendment
  • Photos of Legislators during the Debate
  • What they said...for or against parent consent.

CCHC was at the legislature talking to members on both sides of the aisle. There was bipartisan support for Rep. Holberg's parent consent amendment, just not enough. It failed 64-69. The other Republican-offered consent amendments had bipartisan support also, but less. Those votes are recorded in the House Journal for April 17, 2008.

Please let your legislators know your thoughts about their votes...and their quotes: rep.firstname.lastname@house.mn

Republicans: Abeler, Anderson B, Anderson S, Beard, Brod, Buesgens, Cornish, Dean, DeLaForest, Demmer, Dettmer, Drazkowski, Eastlund, Emmer, Erickson, Finstad, Garofalo, Gottwalt, Gunther, Hackbarth, Heidgerken, Holberg, Hoppe, Howes, Kohls, Lanning, Magnus, McFarlane, McNamara, Nornes, Olson, Ozment, Paulsen, Peppin, Peterson, N, Ruth, Seiffert, Severson, Shimanski, Simpson, Smith, Tingelstad, Urdahl, Wardlow, Westrom, Zellers.

DFL: Dill, Doty, Eken, Faust, Gardner, Greiling, Hilty, Juhnke, Koenen, Lesch, Lillie, Mariani, Marquart, Masin, Murphy, M, Otremba, Scalze, Ward

Not Voting: Hamilton (R)

Republicans Voting Against: Berns, Erhardt

DFL Voting Against: Anzelc, Atkins, Benson, Bigham, Bly, Brown, Brynaert, Bunn, Carlson, Clark, Davnie, Ditrich, Dominguez, Fritz, Hansen, Hausman, Haws, Hilstrom, Hornstein, Hortman, Hosch, Huntley, Jaros, Johnson, Kahn Kalin, Knuth, Dranz, Laine, Lenczewski, Liebling, Lieder, Loeffler, Madore, Mahoney, Moe, Morgan, Morrow, Mullery, Murphy, E, Nelson, Norton, Olin, Paymar, Pelowski, Peterson, A, Ptterson, S, Poppe, Rukavina, Ruud, Sailer, Seertich, Simon, Slawik, Slocum, Solberg, Swails, Thao, Thissen, Tillberry, Tschumper, Wagenius, Walker, Welti, Winkler, Wollschlager, Spkr Kelliher.

Here is what some of our legislators had to say,

Rep. MaryLiz Holberg, GOP (leading the charge for informed consent): My concern is that the state of Minnesota has put together a database of our youngest residents. They have the rights to it. They own it."

Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL (author of the bill): The studies wouldn't be possible if the blood spots weren't stored because these diseases are not identified till many years later...I understand the concern about privacy, but....to go down the path of written consent in any way, or an opt-in, will undermine our ability to proceed with this very, very successful program."

Rep. John Berns, GOP: "My wife and I were sleeping...We were awakened by our baby crying...It was a technician doing the test...The technician said..there were no options...that person didn't do it correctly." (RE: Oct 2006 incidence with 3rd baby in hospital)

Rep. Dettmer, GOP: "I trust parents to make the right decision...I think it's important we let the parents make that decision."

Rep. Tom Emmer, GOP (offering a second consent amendment): It is a very important privacy issue...This goes right to the heart of the rights of an individual...We got somebody whose out driving on the highway with a blood alcohol level above .08. What do we do? They get pulled over...Can we automatically get a sample of their blood. No. You have to get their consent.

Rep. Steve Drazkowski, GOP: "Whose DNA is it? Does it belong to the family or does it belong to the state? It's our responsibility to protect the freedoms of Minnesotans."

Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL: "The issue is about whether the rights of a parent to make a decision about genetic testing is more important than the right of a child to have a healthy life...Less testing means more death, more hearing loss, more growth failure...The issue is the parent's theoretical interest in privacy more important than the child's fundamental right to have a health outcome and a healthy life."

Rep. Steve Gottwalt, GOP: "The first right is the right is the parent's right with their child. They have the ultimate obligation. The parents have the right, not the state, not the doctor, not the hospital. All we're asking is that we get informed consent before things are being done....The parents...deserve the opt-in, not the opt-out. We require more information on that [opt-out] form than we require for people to vote in this state."

Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL: "Because more people opt-out...and in addition to do additional research on childhood diseases, for all those reasons if you require an opt in or a written consent, it undermines our ability to do those things."

Rep. Joyce Peppin, GOP: "It's very difficult to even find the form...makes it very difficult for a parent to opt-out. Either have to go to a notory public or a medical professional to get a signature. Perhaps parents don't want to have to explain why they don't want to submit to this testing. My amendment is to simplify things."

Rep. Mark Olson, IR: "It's not a state child. It's the parent's child."

Rep. Rob Eastlund, GOP: "Rep. Holberg's amendment is absolutely necessary! It took me over 15 min on the health department website to find an opt-out form."

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