Almost every newborn baby in the United States gets screened for
a variety of diseases. These screening programs vary from state to
state. Better and cheaper screening technology allows screening for
more and more conditions. Screening has been controversial,
however, because many of the conditions that can now be detected
either cannot be treated or do not cause symptoms until adulthood.
Furthermore, testing for many rare conditions increases the number
of false positive tests. Over the past decade, the issues raised by
newborn screening have been addressed by the President's Council on
Bioethics, the Hastings Center, and the American College of Medical Genetics. We
provide links to reference material and papers about the ongoing
debate about what should or should not be on the panel of tests for
every newborn, the issues of cost, parental consent, and potential
harms from false positive tests.