Nebraska Revised Statute 71-519
Chapter 71 Section 519
Screening test; duties; disease management; duties; fees authorized; immunity from liability.
(1) All infants born in the State of Nebraska shall be screened for phenylketonuria, primary hypothyroidism, biotinidase deficiency, galactosemia, hemoglobinopathies, medium-chain acyl co-a dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency, and such other metabolic diseases as the Department of Health and Human Services may from time to time specify. Confirmatory tests shall be performed if a presumptive positive result on the screening test is obtained.
(2) The attending physician shall collect or cause to be collected the prescribed blood specimen or specimens and shall submit or cause to be submitted the same to the laboratory designated by the department for the performance of such tests within the period and in the manner prescribed by the department. If a birth is not attended by a physician and the infant does not have a physician, the person registering the birth shall cause such tests to be performed within the period and in the manner prescribed by the department. The laboratory shall within the period and in the manner prescribed by the department perform such tests as are prescribed by the department on the specimen or specimens submitted and report the results of these tests to the physician, if any, the hospital or other birthing facility or other submitter, and the department. The laboratory shall report to the department the results of such tests that are presumptive positive or confirmed positive within the period and in the manner prescribed by the department.
(3) The hospital or other birthing facility shall record the collection of specimens for tests for metabolic diseases and the report of the results of such tests or the absence of such report. For purposes of tracking, monitoring, and referral, the hospital or other birthing facility shall provide from its records, upon the department's request, information about the infant's and mother's location and contact information, and care and treatment of the infant.
(4)(a) The department shall have authority over the use, retention, and disposal of blood specimens and all related information collected in connection with metabolic disease testing conducted under subsection (1) of this section.
(b) The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations relating to the retention and disposal of such specimens. The rules and regulations shall: (i) Be consistent with nationally recognized standards for laboratory accreditation and shall comply with all applicable provisions of federal law; (ii) require that the disposal be conducted in the presence of a witness who may be an individual involved in the disposal or any other individual; and (iii) provide for maintenance of a written or electronic record of the disposal, verified by such witness.
(c) The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations relating to the use of such specimens and related information. Such use shall only be made for public health purposes and shall comply with all applicable provisions of federal law. The department may charge a reasonable fee for evaluating proposals relating to the use of such specimens for public health research and for preparing and supplying specimens for research proposals approved by the department.
(5) The department shall prepare written materials explaining the requirements of this section. The department shall include the following information in the pamphlet:
(a) The nature and purpose of the testing program required under this section, including, but not limited to, a brief description of each condition or disorder listed in subsection (1) of this section;
(b) The purpose and value of the infant's parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis retaining a blood specimen obtained under subsection (6) of this section in a safe place;
(c) The department's procedures for retaining and disposing of blood specimens developed under subsection (4) of this section; and
(d) That the blood specimens taken for purposes of conducting the tests required under subsection (1) of this section may be used for research pursuant to subsection (4) of this section.
(6) In addition to the requirements of subsection (1) of this section, the attending physician or person registering the birth may offer to draw an additional blood specimen from the infant. If such an offer is made, it shall be made to the infant's parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis at the time the blood specimens are drawn for purposes of subsection (1) of this section. If the infant's parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis accepts the offer of an additional blood specimen, the blood specimen shall be preserved in a manner that does not require special storage conditions or techniques, including, but not limited to, lamination. The attending physician or person making the offer shall explain to the parent, guardian, or person in loco parentis at the time the offer is made that the additional blood specimen can be used for future identification purposes and should be kept in a safe place. The attending physician or person making the offer may charge a fee that is not more than the actual cost of obtaining and preserving the additional blood specimen.
(7) The person responsible for causing the tests to be performed under subsection (2) of this section shall inform the parent or legal guardian of the infant of the tests and of the results of the tests and provide, upon any request for further information, at least a copy of the written materials prepared under subsection (5) of this section.
(8) Dietary and therapeutic management of the infant with phenylketonuria, primary hypothyroidism, biotinidase deficiency, galactosemia, hemoglobinopathies, MCAD deficiency, or such other metabolic diseases as the department may from time to time specify shall be the responsibility of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian with the aid of a physician selected by such person.
(9) Except for acts of gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct, any physician, hospital or other birthing facility, laboratory, or other submitter making reports or notifications under sections 71-519 to 71-524 shall be immune from criminal or civil liability of any kind or character based on any statements contained in such reports or notifications.
The newborn screening statutes do not violate the free exercise provisions of the Nebraska Constitution. In re Interest of Anaya, 276 Neb. 825, 758 N.W.2d 10 (2008).
A neutral law of general applicability need not be supported by a compelling governmental interest even though it may have an incidental effect of burdening religion. Douglas Cty. v. Anaya, 269 Neb. 552, 694 N.W.2d 601 (2005).
The assertion of a hybrid rights constitutional claim does not implicate a strict scrutiny review of a statute. A party may not force the government to meet the strict scrutiny standard by merely asserting claims of violations of more than one constitutional right. Douglas Cty. v. Anaya, 269 Neb. 552, 694 N.W.2d 601 (2005).
This section does not unlawfully burden a parent's right to freely exercise his or her religion, nor does it unlawfully burden parental rights. The Nebraska Supreme Court determines that using a rational basis test for review, this section is constitutional. Douglas Cty. v. Anaya, 269 Neb. 552, 694 N.W.2d 601 (2005).
This section is a neutral law of general applicability. It applies to all babies born in the state and does not discriminate as to which babies must be tested. Its purpose is not directed at religious practices or beliefs. Douglas Cty. v. Anaya, 269 Neb. 552, 694 N.W.2d 601 (2005).