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Old 10-19-2010, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pghquest View Post
The testing of the blood without the mothers concent is a completely different issue than removing the child. I'm willing to bet drawing blood of the child is rather normal during child birth.

This is no difference than someone making an accusation that you molested your child. They take the child, then resolve the issue in court. I dont have to like "guilty until innocent" methods but we've been operating on that for quite some time.

Domestic abuse, child abuse, are two examples of guilty until innocent in this country.
But that's not the case we're debating. In this case, (supposedly - again it's not crystal clear) a totally innocent mother - no allegation, no history of drug use, etc - had her blood drug-tested without her knowledge and without her consent. The government then used the results (which turned out to be faulty) to take her kid. If true, that's disgusting.

I would support a law that allowed drug-testing a mother without her consent if there were cause (previous drug conviction, history of documented drug use, obvious track marks). I'd also require that the mother be informed that the test had been preformed and of its potential consequences.

Finally, initial drug tests are almost always presumptive drug tests. They're cheap, and usually reliable (they generally react to a class of compound - in this case opiates). A confirmatory drug test (using a more sophisticated technique) should always be run on any positive result (and should be the law in any situation like this). A confirmatory drug test would tell the difference between 6-monoacetylmorphine from heroin and the morphine from poppy seeds.

Last edited by hammertime33; 10-19-2010 at 05:00 PM..
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by GottaBMe View Post
County welfare workers removed a three day old newborn infant from her mother's arms when a drug test done at the hospital during the birth turned out positive for heroin. Turns out it was a false read caused by the mom having eaten a poppyseed bagel right before delivery.
I call shenanigans. Yes, poppy seeds can cause one to test positive for opiates, but to specifically say it was heroin would have taken another assay. Not only that, but if she tested positive for drugs, they would have retested her blood before removing her child. In retests, 87% of false positives check clean, so if she failed again, then it's highly likely she took drugs. Here's a little info about heroin detection:

Diacetylmorphine -- aka heroin -- metabolizes rapidly after entering a person's system. Due to this rate of break down, heroin is rarely, if ever, picked up with standard drug testing and one must rely on identification of its metabolites. An assay is now available that can identify a metabolite unique to heroin called 6-0-monoacetylmorphine (aka 6-MAM). So if you test positive for 6-MAM, then the poppy seed defense goes out the window as this substance is unique to heroin alone.
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