Europe's response to CMV legislative efforts in the US
As the 2017 legislative session kicks off in states across America, CMV advocates and parents look backwards to reflect on our past successes and lessons learned while looking forward to upcoming bills and initiatives designed to improve CMV education and screening. And we aren't alone. As recent states such as Utah, Illinois, and Connecticut have marked successful passage of CMV statutes, other countries have been taking notice of this new and novel approach to CMV advocacy in the states. Dr. Paul Griffiths, professor of virology at UCL Medical School's Centre for Virology and author of "The Stealth Virus"
, addresses this issue and recently penned an editorial in the Journal of Medical Virology, entitled Medical practice driven by legislators rather than by regulators
"This impasse was disturbed in 2012 by the birth of Daisy, who has had an effect on public health out of all proportion to her low birth weight. Her parents, like many before them, were shocked to discover that a virus able to damage large numbers of babies was circulating in our communities without women of childbearing age being alerted to the risks and being offered the potential to take steps to reduce those risks. The difference in the case of Daisy is that her grandmother is a legislator in the US state of Utah. Instantly recognizing an injustice, she set about framing legislation that would require the provision of information about CMV. A bill passed rapidly into law on 1 July, 2013 directs the Utah Department of Health to take two actions. First, to create a public education program to inform women of childbearing age about CMV and its transmission, the birth defects it can cause, methods of diagnosis, and available preventative measures. Second, it requires medical practitioners to test infants who fail newborn hearing screening tests for the presence of congenital CMV... The message is clear; if medical practitioners sit in their professional silos and refuse to take an initiative until a cognate professional group makes the first move, then parents will see the bigger picture and force change by exerting their constitutional rights to have their concerns addressed."
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Category: Advocacy, Awareness