BOSTON (CBS) – Doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are offering new parents a landmark genetic scan that screens newborns for around 1,800 conditions. But most parents are declining the controversial test.

The trial allows newborns to be tested before showing symptoms of diseases, including some cancers.

Robert Green, medical geneticist at Harvard and co-director of the BabySeq Project along with Alan Beggs, told CBS This Morning the scan could “absolutely” save a child’s life in the future.

Robert Green, medical geneticist at Harvard and co-director of the BabySeq Project. (Image Credit: CBS This Morning)

But as Green told CBS This Morning, there are also drawbacks to the program.

“I would have to say I’m not 100 percent comfortable with it. What we’re really trying to do in this study is ask the question, ‘How beneficial or harmful is it to go down this road?'” Green said.

Some of the potential risks include breaches of privacy and genetic discrimination.

“We can’t predict what kind of discrimination is going to be occurring by the time your child grows up,” Green told CBS. “We can’t predict whether there’s some sort of privacy breaches, this information gets out and is used against your child in some sort of future scenario. And we, most importantly, we can’t predict the information’s accurate.”

An innovative DNA test being performed at Brigham & Women’s. (Image Credit: CBS This Morning)

Lauren Stetson and her husband Kyle opted to have their daughter Cora undergo the scan when she was born.

Doctors found a partial biotinidase deficiency, something that Cora showed no symptoms of. If the test had not uncovered the deficiency, it could have caused a permanent drop in her IQ.

“It’s a pretty insane thing to think about,” Stetson told CBS This Morning.

Because the test revealed Cora’s deficiency, she is able to be treated using a daily vitamin that gets mixed into her yogurt.

Green, however, says so far about 9 of 10 families have declined the test.

The National Institutes of Health funds the BabySeq trial at about $25 million. The initial round of results from the study, which should be available in the next several years, will help doctors and lawmakers determine how to use the testing in the future.

“People are distrustful of information gathering. They’re hearing about all these break-ins and hacks,” Green said. “And I’m afraid they’re turning down the possibility of this information at this time because they just don’t trust the future.”

Comments (25)
  1. Larry Hughes says:

    Just a short step to mandatory per-natal testing and abortions for babies that don’t meet the governments genetic standards, can you say eugenics on steroids? And why would the government do that because the politicians get billions in bribes from the insurance companies and this would ultimately save them 100’s of times that much!

    1. damn- you beat me to it. Kudos

  2. Dusty Rhodes says:

    Life is a sexually transmitted fatal disease.

  3. Barb Miller says:

    Everybody is a carrier of something….

  4. Ya just have to think that the results of such a test will be construed to be pre-existing conditions that will not be covered.

    1. To know or not to know. That is the question, and a difficult one indeed..

      It does remind me of covering ones ears and yelling “LAALALA hoping the message or truth will go away.

  5. Doesn’t treating any of the diseases also then raise privacy concerns?

  6. Orange Mango says:

    In the New World Order , privacy is often contrary to the ‘ greater good ‘ .

  7. Your DNA belongs to you. The reptilian elite want to know the DNA so they can fine tune their exotic Directed Energy weapons on people , especially the ones who are here to confront them. Just look up Targeted INidivudals and you will see that the elite use frequency based weaponry on the population. This goes really deep and to the core of what is going on the earth right now. There is a battle. We are made up of light, color and sound and they know this. We are electric beings. The elite believe in a hive mind where your thoughts can be read. You have to realize that the medical institutions are using “disease” as a talk off to get you to walk into the door o make you feel safe. People are being illeaglly impanted against their will, right now. Once you do this DNA scan.. where do the records go? It goes to black ops. They prick a baby’s blood do examine that DNA. You have to remember DNA is gold to the elite because they look for people who have psychic potentials. They hone in on that. They are takers and you have a ton of evil people in the medical field that exploit the human body all in the name of some disease or scare. You have to believe in yourself, first. The body is an amazing thing and about 90 percent of the time doctors just push a pill. People need to speak out against the medical people who are logging in people’s DNA for future use. Have you seen Minority Report? Yeah.. they can now scan your emotions and tell if you are a threat or not in the public arena. They will be using DNA as a weapon on the planet for future families. Scanning you for flaws goes against the Creator of the Infinite universe. It is about this AI system that is in place and about mind control.

  8. Wait until they find a “gay” gene. Parents will have a choice……….. A perfect liberal storm.

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