Genetic Counselling: The Moral, Theological and Legal Approach

Background: Genetic counselling is one of the most important processes of genetic services, because the problems caused by genetic disorders affect not only the sufferers and their immediate families but also society as a whole. Aim: Investigation of the moral and theological questions arising from the application of human genetic counselling. Method: A literature review, based on both review and research literature, was conducted covering the period 1978-2010, using the Medline, Scopus and ΙΑΤΡΟΤΕΚ databases with the key-words: “Genetic counselling”, “bioethics”, “genetic information”, “Orthodox ethics”, “legislation”. Results: The literature review identified four major principles of genetic counselling, namely: the principle of non guided genetic counselling, the principle of free access, the principle of confidence, and the principle of access to information. Orthodox Christian theology maintains a prohibitive stance on abortion of the human foetus. The same position is held also by the Catholic Church. Review of the relevant legislation revealed two basic issues: (a) The right of the individual to know or not the genetic information that concerns him/herself, and (b) the individual right to access to genetic services. Conclusions: According to the literature, all individuals who are undergoing genetic investigation should go through the genetic counselling process and they need to have access to the genetic services even after the genetic investigation is complete.

Category: Volume 50, N 3
Hits: 45 Hits
Created Date: 15-09-2011
Authors: George Katsimigas , Evridiki Kaba