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Is drug testing of babies after birth in Arkansas a law

Resolved Question:

I have been told that babies are drug tested without the parents knowledge after birth in Arkansas. is this true, if so are all babies drug tested or just random? is this a violation of my rights as a US citizen, or is it legal?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LegalEagle, LLC replied 7 years ago.

I think the testing that you are referring to is far more innocuous that suggested. There are certain diseases that each child is screened for as a matter of state law. Here's that statute:

Neonatal testing for certain diseases; rules and regulations for treatment thereof. Section 22-20-3:

(a) It shall be the duty of the administrative officer or other persons in charge of each institution caring for infants 28 days or less of age, or the physician attending a newborn child or the person attending a newborn child that was not attended by a physician to cause to have administered to every such infant or child in his care a reliable test for hypothyroidism and a reliable test for phenylketonuria (PKU), such as the Guthrie test, or any other test considered equally reliable by the State Board of Health and a reliable test for sickle cell anemia, sickle cell trait, and/or abnormal hemoglobin and such other tests relating to mental retardation or other heritable diseases and conditions as are designated by the Board of Health. Provided, however, that the Board of Health shall designate only conditions that are detectable by mass screening of newborn infants. Initial mass screening tests and the recording of results shall be performed by the Public Health Laboratory at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Board of Health; confirmatory tests shall be undertaken by such laboratory facilities as are designated by the attending physician or parent; provided, that no such initial screening or confirmatory tests shall be given to any child whose parents object thereto on the grounds that such tests conflict with their religious tenets and practices. In the event a test is not given to a child on account of such objections by the parents, then no physician, nurse, laboratory technician, person administering tests, hospital, institution or other health care provider shall be liable for failure to administer the test.

(b) The State Board of Health shall promulgate such rules and regulations as it considers necessary to provide for the care and treatment of those newborn infants whose tests are determined positive, including but not limited to, advising dietary treatment for such infants. The State Board of Health shall promulgate any other rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the provisions of this section including the collection of a reasonable fee for the newborn child screening program.

(Acts 1965, No. 885, p. 1664; Acts 1979, No. 79-437, p. 703; Acts 1987, No. 87-672, p. 1202; Acts 1991, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 91-793, p. 188, §1.)

 

All other screening only occurs if the testing is done for another purpose or there is reasonably suspicion to believe the child was born with illegal substances in their system.

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