Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A comment that I must discuss

This comment was left for me in regards to yesterday's post on the DNA law and I just had to share it with all of you. Normally I don't do this but.....How could I resist this one :-D

This is voluntary. There's been discussion about this on other bb's and it's voluntary
to have these tests run.

Check out They are overjoyed this passed. The article posted is an alarmist/extremist article so don't panic - yet. :)

Actually Anonymous:

I looked on the government site and had a bit of trouble finding that particular statement for it being voluntary. But we'll leave that up in the air ---even though a number of people that are fighting it are saying there is not a voluntary statement attached to it. I agree---we should only believe what we read with our own eyes.
Also, I think voluntary is open to interpretation---it was suppose to be voluntary in Minnesota. Being in NAIS is suppose to be voluntary ----but how come so many of us are in there without are express approval?? I have thrown away my Nais form 3 times---never sent it in. Yet at one time my farm WAS registered.
Here is a fine link to what a Dr. and Congressman Ron Paul had to say---it hits on Constitutional reasons which is one of the best reasons to be against this bill after all.

Also consider Minnesota's state program which tested over 42,000 children WITHOUT parental permission by THEIR admission--and they are working on changing the law so they will have mandatory permission and no one will get in trouble for previously testing outside the "law". It has already passed in the state house and senate and is awaiting the Governor's signature. He has already said he is for this law. You can see who voted for and against the Minnesota state program here. They have some PDF files and links with video for who voted how and their reasons why. Previously the Minnesota law required written informed consent (which our government law does not state) prior to the collection, storage, use, or dissemination of private genetic information by government and others. Specifically, the law stated that genetic information could only be collected and used with written informed consent; it may be stored only for as long as the person consents; and it may only be shared with others, including researchers and pharmaceutical companies, with written consent. The consent to allow sharing for specific purposes expires in a year and must be signed and dated. However---it was not followed and was abused. And to this day NO ONE has been punished for it.
This new legislation would allow the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to exempt the collection, storage, use and sharing of newborn DNA from the informed consent requirements of the genetic privacy law. Without informed consent, MDH would be allowed to contract with hospitals statewide to prick the heel of newborns, use and analyze the baby's DNA into adulthood, and give the DNA-filled blood spots to researchers and others.

Do you absolutely believe that never ever will their be a person in the government that through political threat of job loss (just one way it could happen) might not do this very same thing?? Hahahaha ----you lie to yourself about human nature. Not that I feel every one is waiting to be bad but "absolute power corrupts absolutely" I know that even about myself. Which is why I don't trust "vagueness" in laws. Being "vague" leaves everything open to some one else's interpretation. If there is nothing else I have learned by living in different places in the southern bible belt is that interruption can take many many forms. Many of them are whack and way out there---and all this from "normal" people that vote.

If this legislation passes, the informed consent protections of today's genetic privacy law will not protect any baby born after July 1, 1997 -- the day health officials began building a government "DNA warehouse" for the purpose of genetic research. On that day, without legal authority or parental consent, MDH began keeping baby blood and storing it indefinitely.

Furthermore, few citizens are aware of the 1980 decision of the Supreme Court making it legal to essentially patent "life" in the form of genetic codes, bacteria and genetically modified animals.
In June of 1980, the Supreme Court held, by a 5 to 4 majority, that living organisms could be patented.
As another example, in 1976 a leukemia patient named John Moore had surgery at the University of California to remove his cancerous spleen. The University was later granted a patent for a cell line called “Mo,” removed from the spleen, which could be used for producing valuable proteins. The long term commercial value of the cell line was estimated at over one billion dollars. Mr. Moore demanded the return of the cells and control over his body parts, but the California Supreme Court decided that he was not entitled to any rights to his own cells after they had been removed from his body.

Don't fool yourself----things like this can be abused and it's funny how people who don't want these types of laws are always told to "calm down" it's nothing to worry about. While everyone else sits on the sidelines and says "it's for a good cause NO ONE would EVER abuse it". Or they say "well, I could see how it MIGHT be abused but it's for such a good cause!"
hahahaha---that's what always gets me---people always think politicians are the best when their trying to "save" or help us---but we gripe about them being corrupt the rest of the time.
All it takes is one Karl Rove type character in the right place and WOW-- you got what you didn't ask for. Not to bash Karl Rove---but he manipulated a lot of things (all not completely proven but the evidence is overwhelming that he had a hand in many things) and yet to this day.....No punishments. He wasn't even the President.

Lastly to comment on the thoughts of others that we, as a democracy, should just blow this law out of the water.
Well I have some problems with that:
1) I watch main stream media, listen to NPR and "surf the web" every day for news and I NEVER heard of it until now. Why is that?????? Doesn't seem like our news outlets are being very helpful.
How can I vote for or against something if I have no clue it was up for grabs??

2)Sometimes I am a minority anyways (yes, I know---a problem but then I would still rather have a democracy). My problem with the minority factor though is this: A family member very close to me once said these words to me "Yes, I would give up some of my freedom and allow the government to track me if it would insure the safety of my grandchildren from danger from terrorists and other people wanting to do harm" What the F$%@ !!! I absolutely DON"T believe in that-----but many many people do. Now just interject "give up my freedom so that they can study diseases no matter how they may use the information later----I want my grandchildren to live".
When do you draw the line between safety/security and freedom??

On another blog about environmental issues they asked the question that fits here somewhat: What are you able to give up and what are you WILLING to give up? How about you?

Fear mongering?----and your saying I am buying it the other way. Hahahaha.
All I see is that you bought the opposite side of the "fear spectrum" from me. At least I want you to have your freedom and my fear imposes NOTHING on you-----you don't care if some government official eventually uses my DNA or my kids or grandkids for something maybe good but maybe bad. You can still have the testing---I can't choose not to.
Won't matter----because people are giving away my choice for the short term solution. Without me being able to say no or even yeah---I didn't get to vote on it.
At least my choice creates absolutely no problem for anyone else---we all still have freedom. The other choice---is no choice. Someone else gets to make it for me. Essentially.....My grandchildren will eventually be much less free than our founding Father's hoped for. Total Bummer.

Good Luck with that anonymous---hope you are as free as you ever hoped to be.

P.S---added later after more thought.

Historically people bring up the Nazis when talking about topics like this, however I say why go back so darn far? Let's look at some other places more recently where just the color of your skin or your religious orientations created issues for you to be exterminated: Cambodia in the 70's with Pol Pot. Rwanda in the 90's, Bosnia in the 90's, Darfur---currently occurring. (or as one commenter reminded me---The black sharecroppers of Tuskegee and our governments 40 year experiment on them and syphilis. Now THAT actually fits with this issue) All this without even using DNA. Yes, those countries where supposedly not as Democratic as ours---but what about the thought that this type of law just allows us to go with LESS kicking and screaming. Why chase the sheep when you can trick them into the barn with some grain?

Also the question of does this law violate the Nuremberg Code comes up. Depending on how it is eventually used---it could.
Here is the starting part of the code:
The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.
Does signing a card while your being wheeled into labor while having strong contractions mean you are giving consent without being incorrectly "situated" as the code states? Or maybe while Dad is trying to hurry and fill out paper work and sign things to get back in the room as fast as he can---does that count? All things to consider. (Wondering about the code---see it here)

These are all things to consider. Laws like this are never "cut and dried". They have far reaching consequences and MUST have protections written into them. Is it a bad idea---no. Not on the surface anyway. However it's not the top of the pond that worries me---it's how deep it is when I jump in and how far I have to swim to get back to safety.


Phelan said...

Can I just say, I love you? Or would that be too odd?

I wanted to say something to your commentor, but figured they probably wouldn't see it. It is probably someone that has keywords being searched for by a google program to defend this bill. I know the dept. of dillweeds shows up on my blog sometimes as well as a few other people just to put their two cents in to make us all feel so much better about things.

Mandi said...

Anonymous got his/her information from the March of Dimes which has the admirable (yet narrow and in no way related to the concern of erosion of our civil rights) focus of preventing infant death. They are not concerned with broader issues. Furthermore, before Anonymous laughs it off as an alarmist diatribe, perhaps he/she should actually read the bill and gather the information first hand, not from a group (for reasons however noble) that has a vested interest in spinning the bill in a positive light. I too had issues with finding the alleged "voluntary" clause in the language in the bill. Perhaps Anonymous is unfamiliar with the idea of precedence and the proverbial slippery slope. And a slippery slope it is, indeed.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Phelan......:-D with a kiss and hug: xxoo

Mandi--I looked and looked too. I never could find a "yes or no" answer to that question of voluntary or not. I agree---March of Dimes is interested only in the testing (yes, a noble cause) but definitely NOT fighting for our constitutional rights. Absolutely a "slippery slope".

Maritzia said...

Yeah...and our wonderful "democratic" country experimented on black men in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. It's not just other countries that have done things like this. Do people think all the people in the government of this country respect individual rights equally? These are the same people who monitor your phone conversations without oversight of outside agency. Do you honestly think they wouldn't be willing to use DNA to quietly remove someone of a race they fear?

One of your original commenters was right. Vote! It's not a luxury, it's a necessity.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Ah yes Maritzia---I forgot about the Tuskegee experiments. Hopefully they forgive me---I shouldn't have. What's that old saying "History forgotten is history repeated". I think that's it.

Caroline in NH said...

It has become increasingly in-your-face obvious that the government is no longer on our side. The government, USDA, FDA are totally in bed with big business, frequently to the detriment of the citizenry. The government is very broken in many ways.

Robbyn said...

I think "voluntary" is something folks WANT to believe, and no matter where in the fine print it might allude to that, what happened in Minnesota with blatant side-stepping of the existing restrictions can happen just like that if that's the way the money swings.
This is an excellent post, Monica! And you're exactly right in that it requires NO step backward in time to find humans willing to sacrifice other humans for any interest they find more persuasive or advantageous at the time.
You're also exactly right that the public is both in the dark about these HUGE things that are being signed in darkened governmental boardrooms and that it's being eased by the public by playing to that "protecting the public interest" card. WHAT?? Our freedoms are being catapulted faster than our heads can spin..I think, like no other time in our history, at least in the US? Maybe I'm wrong about that, but this world of snowballing genetic "ownership" and tampering with the DNA map is worse than any "terrorism" it's supposedly designed to "protect" against.

TOCCO said...

Thank you for your research and information. I linked back to your post. I hope you don't mind!