Michigan Lawsuit Accuses State of Storing Newborn Blood

michigan baby blood
Newborn baby in hospital post-delivery room image credit: deposit photos

The lawsuit alleges that blood was stolen from their babies at birth and that this has been going on since 1984. The state of Michigan is accused of storing these blood collections at a private nonprofit blood bank called the BioTrust.

How many blood collections are there? You must be wondering. The number seems to be somewhere close to 5 million persons divided up between two storage banks.

According to WoodTV

In September, Philip Ellison and his wife welcomed their son Patton. He was born early and was placed in the neonatal unit.

“The second day we were there, the nurse shows up and hands me a form and says, ‘Hey, we need you to sign this to donate your son’s blood for research,'” Ellison told 24 Hour News 8 via FaceTime. “As a parent who has a son in neonatal, it’s my first child, I’m not worried about donating blood at this point. I said, ‘Let’s not worry about his, we’ll deal with this later.’ She said, ‘Oh, no. This isn’t blood that we’re using. This is the blood we send to the state.’ And I said, ‘What blood did you send to the state?’ And that’s when I discovered this.”

Ellison is also a lawyer and his wife a professor. They took baby classes and read books, so they thought they knew what to expect. But they never learned about the Michigan Neonatal BioBank.

“I was just unhappy with the fact that I didn’t have the opportunity to make that decision,” Ellison said.

When a child is born in Michigan, a blood sample is taken to help find rare disorders. It’s been happening since the late 1960s. Since 1984, the state has been taking extra blood and storing it in a private nonprofit blood bank to test for future diseases. It’s also sold for medical research.

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