Conflicts of Interest in Genetic Counseling: Acknowledging and Accepting

Conflicts of Interest in Genetic Counseling: Acknowledging and Accepting

Published August 2017

Summary: Recently, the objectivity of genetic counselors in some professional situations has been called into question, citing financial ties to industry. In response, the National Society of Genetic Counselors referenced its code of ethics, which advises members to keep in mind relationships that could undermine patient care. Because the profession of genetic counseling is built on assisting patients in making decisions that best suit their personal needs and values, implying that genetic counselors may have conflicts of interest (COI) seems to strike at the heart of the profession’s integrity and identity. Yet, for this same reason, it is crucial that genetic counselors acknowledge that they, like all medical professionals, can and do have COI, and work to manage them.

Citation and link:

Stoll K, Lindh H, Mackinson A, Allyse A, Michie M. (2017) “Conflicts of interest in genetic counseling: Acknowledging and accepting.” Genetics in Medicine 19(8):864-866.

One thought on “Conflicts of Interest in Genetic Counseling: Acknowledging and Accepting

  1. Suie Leyes says:

    Fantastic article. Traditionally there have been so many barriers and obstacles to genetic counseling for too many rare disease patients and families. Improving this accessiblity is so important in also improving genetic diagnosis rates, and helping people reach a diagnosis faster. Online and virtual, direct to consumer genetic counseling options, and understanding how this tools have the potential to revolutionize genetic analysis and diagnosis, while improving rare disease patient outcomes, is crucial.

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