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Nebraska top court upholds mandatory infant blood tests

[JURIST] The Nebraska Supreme Court [official website] Friday upheld a state law which requires mandatory blood testing of newborn infants. The opinion [PDF text] rejected an appeal brought by a fundamental Christian couple, Josue and Mary Anaya. The Anayas argued that the test infringed their religious beliefs and might shorten their baby's life. The test [screening program website], which requires pricking an infant's heel to draw five drops of blood, detects several disorders such as sickle-cell anemia and thyroid malfunctions. Nebraska Supreme Court Judge John Wright [official profile] wrote that the testing "does not unlawfully burden the Anayas' right to freely exercise their religion, nor does it unlawfully burden their parental rights." While the Court noted that parents have the right to make decisions concerning their child, it stated that Nebraska may intervene on the compelling governmental interest of preventing disease. Nebraska is one of five states that have no religious exception to such blood tests. AP has more.

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