The technology, medicine and ethics of the fast changing field of genetic counseling

Sep 11, 2014


What if your family history was fraught with men who died of heart attacks at an early age? Would you want to know if you, too, could be susceptible to heart disease in your forties? If you’re a new parent, would you want to know if your newborn son will develop say, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is a rare, always lethal condition that affects only boys?  The answers, should you want them, could be found with the help of a genetic counselor.

Currently, estimates put the number of certified genetic counselors across the country at only about 3,200. But the field is growing rapidly, and so too, of course, are the scientific advances that make genetic analysis an ever more useful tool in health care.

Reflecting this growth in the field of genetic counseling, a bill in the state legislature was introduced this year that would formally regulate and license genetic counselors in the state of Michigan.

Current State discusses the medicine, ethics and technology of genetic counseling with Corrie Bourdon, a certified genetic counselor here at Michigan State University.