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Role of Genetic Counselor

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If I were hired as a genetic counselor to advise a couple about the odds of the couple having a baby with a genetic disorder and I wanted to order lab tests to be done on the pregnant mother to determine if the baby has a genetic disorder (amniocentesis)-what kind of test would be done? How would the test determine if the baby has a genetic disorder or not? If it is determined that the couple's baby has a genetic disorder, then what advice should I provide to that couple? Why? What if the couple went against my advice? Whose advice (mine-the genetic counselor representing science or the couple representing society) should be considered?

Finally, answer the following question: Does society or science know what is best?

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Solution Summary

For genetic testing before birth, pregnant women are usually suggested to undergo amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. These tests identify the likelihood of passing certain genetic diseases or disorders to children. Some of the more familiar genetic disorders are down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, tay-sachs disease, spina bifida etc. Genetic counselors help in understanding the different options and enable to adjust to any uncertainties one may face. However, the final decision has to be taken by couple and their families.

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