Non-directive genetic counselling - respect for autonomy or unprofessional practice?
Chieng, Wei Shieng
Lee, Soo Chin
Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore 2011 Jan; 40(1): 36-7
Historically, genetic counselling was developed in the West and in the field of neonatal medicine, and a non-directive approach has been its central ethos since the 1950s to 60s. In today's changing world, the question of whether non-directive genetic counselling with its emphasis on patient autonomy may in some occasions be perceived as unprofessional practice. Through these 4 case studies in cancer genetic counselling, we seek to highlight the conundrums, dilemmas and various other considerations of patients and their families faced during the genetic counselling process. We also address the pitfalls of a 'one-size fi ts all' approach of non-directive counselling and how we could best practice cancer genetic counselling in the Singapore context, taking into consideration respect for patient autonomy and healthcare professionalism.
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