The Heel Prick test conducted soon after a baby is born can pose an ethics risk for many; however it is undeniable that a lot of good can come of it.
A newborn child may appear to be healthy but to find out if he or she is really as healthy as their appearance; a simple genetic test could be very useful in order to detect a number of grave illnesses.
Such testing can help to save lives even, it is thought. The heel prick test, administered soon after birth could be the way to detect serious disorders such as Thalassemia major and as many as 30 other disorders in most states of the United States.
The reason that this sort of testing becomes important is because of the face of it, there seems to be nothing wrong: the child seems healthy and there were no complications in the pregnancy either. So in a sense this test uncovers a disease hiding in plain sight.
For many of these disorders, early detection is of vital importance since future complications can help to be prevented.
And if confidentiality is a point for worry, it need not be, say experts. Information is not allowed to be released without parental consent; and that benefits outweigh risks.