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General Laws

Section 15B. The department of public health shall furnish necessary laboratory and testing facilities for a voluntary screening program for sickle cell anemia or for the sickle cell trait and for such genetically-linked diseases as may from time to time be determined by the commissioner of public health, such as Tay-sachs disease, Cooley’s anemia and hemophilia, which shall be established by each city and town. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations for the testing, treatment, care and counseling of all susceptible persons. The most appropriate age for screening and the method of screening shall be determined and redetermined by the commissioner in accordance with said regulations in the light of technical and laboratory changes. Any screening programs which may be established shall include provisions for a complete health education and post-screening counseling service and for such treatment of those affected by any blood abnormality as the commissioner by regulation may determine to be appropriate or practical. Records maintained as part of any screening program shall be confidential and shall not be accessible to anyone other than the commissioner of public health or his agents or to the local health department which is conducting the screening program except by permission of the parents or guardian of any child or adolescent who has been screened. Information on the results of any particular screening program shall be limited to notification to the parents or guardian of the result if the person screened is under the age of eighteen or to said person himself if he is over the age of eighteen. The results may be used otherwise only for collective statistical purposes.

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