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Genetics

Counseling

The WSMA believes that physicians engaged in genetic counseling are ethically obligated to provide prospective parents with the basis for an informed decision for childbearing. (Reaffirmed A-17)

The WSMA believes the physician should be prepared in the instance where a genetic defect is found in the fetus, prospective parents may request or refuse an abortion. (Reaffirmed A-17)

The WSMA affirms that physicians who consider the legal and ethical requirements applicable to genetic counseling to be in conflict with their moral values and conscience may choose to limit such services to preconception diagnosis and advice or not provide any genetic services. However, there are circumstances in which the physician who is so disposed is nevertheless obligated to alert prospective parents that a potential genetic problem does exist, that the physician does not offer genetic services, and that the patient should seek medical counseling from another qualified specialist. (JC 2.10-87) (Reaffirmed A-17)


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Abbreviations for House of Delegates report origination:

EC – Executive Committee; BT – Board of Trustees; CPA – Council on Professional Affairs; JC – Judicial Council; CHS – Community and Health Services

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