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Saving Babies?The Consequences of Newborn Genetic Screening$
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Stefan Timmermans and Mara Buchbinder

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226924977

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226924991.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 March 2020

The Future of Newborn Screening

The Future of Newborn Screening

(p.212) Conclusion The Future of Newborn Screening
Saving Babies?

Stefan Timmermans

Mara Buchbinder

University of Chicago Press

The book concludes by enumerating at least five contemporary omens that signal the possible futures of newborn screening. The first omen suggests a future in which screening for rare genetic disorders will become increasingly routinized and statistically monitored. The second omen became apparent when US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius added Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID) as a 55th disorder to the recommended uniform screening panel. The third omen signals a more cautionary stance toward newborn screening program expansion, suggesting that program retrenchment and cost-cutting measures could stifle its continued growth. The fourth omen is concerned with false positives, which are an inevitable consequence of any screening program needing to strike a balance between specificity and sensitivity. Finally, the fifth omen is concerned with the retention, by state governments, of dried blood samples from nearly every US newborn.

Keywords:   contemporary omens, rare genetic disorders, Kathleen Sebelius, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder, SCID, program expansion, false positives, dried blood samples

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