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ABSTRACT: The effect on the number of tests and procedures on full-term newborns of medical teaching, quality of medical care, research, malpractice, third party reimbursements, and metabolic screening are discussed. Aspects of informed consent are described in relation to common procedures, especially sepsis, meningitis, jaundice and circumcision. These three are selected as representing a spectrum of newborn procedures from one with much benefit and little risk, to one with little benefit and much risk. Before we can decide a risk/benefit ratio for any procedure, we must know the incidence of the disease, the severity, the effectiveness of the diagnostic procedure, and the benefits and risks of the treatment.