Genetic counselling should be viewed from many perspectives. To understand the ethical issues raised by genetic counselling, it is necessary for the practitioner, the detached observer and the student to be aware of these different perspectives. This book includes contributions from health professionals engaged in genetic counselling, and from observers and critics of genetic counselling with backgrounds in law, in philosophy, in biology, in the soical sciences in advocacy on behalf of those with mental handicap. This diversity among the contributors will enable health professionals to examine their activities with a fresh eye, and will help the observer-critic to understand the ethical problems that arise in genetic counselling practice rather than imaginary encounters. It is natural for health professionals to focus their concern on the immediate questions raised by individual clients, and for detached observers to consider the broader social implications of genetic counselling; this book will aid the process of mutual understanding. The book consists of an introduction and eleven chapters.
Five chapters have been written from the perspectives of those engaged in genetic counselling of screening, and examine the ethical issues raised. Six chapters have been written from contrasting, critical perpectives. This volume differs from other studies of ethical issues raised by genetics in that it focuses on genetic counselling and screening as such, rather than the new technologies applied to human reproduction. The breadth of the multidisciplinary perspective is also unusual, and make the book of interest of health professionals, social scientists, philosophers of science and of ethics, lawyers and bioethicists.