Screening of newborns for disorders with high benefit- risk ratios should be mandatory

Nicole Kelly, Dalia Chehayeb Makarem, Melissa P. Wasserstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Newborn screening has evolved to include an increasingly complex spectrum of diseases, raising concerns that screening should be optional and require parental consent. Early detection of disorders like PKU and MCAD is essential to prevent serious disability and death in affected children. These are examples of high benefit-risk ratio disorders because of the irrefutable health benefits of early detection, coupled with the low risks of treatment. The dire consequences of not diagnosing an infant with a treatable disorder because of parental refusal to screen are wholly unacceptable. Thus, we believe that newborn screening for disorders with high benefit-risk ratios should continue to be mandatory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Law, Medicine and Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy


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