Genetic Counseling Dealing With Its Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

"Accurate descriptions of sex chromosome differences are critical, the decisions potentially regrettable, and the long-term outcomes devastating if a termination is based on the misinformation," that the patient later discovers to be misinformation for instance, "that any of these conditions is comparable to Down's Syndrome" (Biesecker r 2001:2) Conversely, it is also important not to minimize the odds of a potentially fatal genetic condition like Tay Sachs disease.

Providers are obliged to obtain useful up-to-date information and to ensure parents have adequate opportunity to consider their decision with the help of an experienced healthcare provider, preferably in medical genetics, and if necessary, a counselor who is attuned to the cultural assumptions and needs of the couple's population group, and religious beliefs. Certain populations might have a different view and understanding of the real difficulty of raising a child suffering from a heritable disorder, or even the concept of heritability of common disorders.

Attitudes toward abortion, desires for biological children, religious beliefs, attitudes toward disability and human variation, and social norms about prenatal testing outcomes are likely influences upon the couple's decision, and all of these attitudes should be discussed in a culturally sensitive manner, as must practical issues such as money and social support. Thus, healthcare providers have an obligation to explore the meaning the information has for women and their partners to help decision-making within a culturally meaningful context and practical context.

Having access to knowledge or speaking with individuals from the couple's population group, especially if different from the counselor's own can be valuable, to gain a better understanding of the belief systems and support systems open to the couple in dealing with a child with serious medical complications or the aftermath of an abortion. Of course, not all women experience depression after abortion. However, "grief reactions that accompany therapeutic abortion for medical or genetic reasons are similar to grief reactions that accompany a spontaneous abortion" or miscarriages, regardless of when the therapeutic abortions are performed (Rosenfeld 1992:1). "The woman and her partner experience the same stages of grieving as families whose child died unexpectedly. The grieving process may be complicated by family and friends who may have been unaware of the pregnancy, who may be ambivalent or who may not recognize the grieving process" as legitimate, or simply because the couple lacks social support to articulate grief (Rosenfeld 1992:1). Understanding how grief, loss, and the unborn are viewed by the couple's community and faith structure is part of the counseling and treatment -- no grief is generic.

What may make the grieving process more difficult is that "traditional elements of grieving, such as funerals or memorial services, are seldom observed" after a medically necessary abortion in some cultures and "the parents may be uncertain about their ability to have healthy children," or it may have been suggested that they do not, given their genetic history (Rosenfeld 1992: 1). "Strong beliefs regarding abortion may prevent medical professionals and friends from providing counseling and support, which may complicate the family's grieving process," as may a lack of access to counseling, and "the incidence of depression appears to be increasing in women and their spouses who choose abortion because of genetic or medical reasons" who do not have access to counseling (Rosenfeld 1992:1). Carrying the child to term is not necessarily the 'answer' however, but finding a release for the couple and creating resources where there may seem to be none may be a need that a health care provider may have to address, along with the post-surgical treatment following an abortion.

However imperfectly it is disseminated, via phone, or arranging for another appointment at a later date, follow-up counseling is just as essential as follow-up physical care. Many counselors believe "the couple should be advised not to have another child until the grieving process has been completed. Counseling should be directed at helping the couple overcome feelings of guilt, feelings of decreased self-worth and feelings of defectiveness. Referral to support groups may be helpful or the use of non-judgmental counseling and support structures that are accessible within the couple's own community (Rosenfeld 1992:1). Providing advice about creating such groups within communities without access to the more extensive array of options in urban locations should be a long-term goal pursued by the health care community.

Earlier diagnosis of fetal anomalies, allowing a first-trimester the psychologic impact of abnormal genetic findings will hopefully make the process easier. But no matter how fast and far science progresses, a "competent and effective genetic counselor must recognize and deal with the psychological defense mechanisms which affected persons and parents of affected children use to cope with the strain of genetic disease in the family" (Murray 1976:12). Regardless of background, the grief processes of "denial, guilt, hostility, grief and mourning and the psychology of defectiveness are all potent emotional factors that must be dispelled or worked through before parents should make reproductive decisions. If the counseling experience is to be satisfactory, the counselor must help parents meet the immediate and long-term social needs of affected individuals in addition to their medical needs" (Murray 1976: 12).

Works Cited

Baker, Schuette & Uhlmann. (Eds.) (1998). A guide to genetic counseling.

Beery, Theresa a & Kerry a. Schooner. (Nov 2004). "Family History: The First Genetic

Screen." Nurse Practioner. Retrieved 23 Jun 2007 at

Biesecker, Barbara. (24 Feb 2001). "Prenatal diagnoses of sex chromosome conditions:

parents need more than just accurate information."

British Medical Journal. Retrieved 23 Jun 2007 at

Murray, R.F. (1976). "Psychosocial aspects of genetic counseling." Social Work Health

Care. Fall; 2(1):13-23.

Rosenfeld, Jo Ann. (Jan 1992). "Emotional responses to therapeutic abortion."

American Family Physician. Retrieved 23 Jun 2007 at

Reebs, Stephan. (2006). "Feast or Famine." Natural History. Retrieved 24 Jun. 2007 at[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Genetic Counseling Dealing With Its" (2007, June 24) Retrieved October 22, 2016, from

"Genetic Counseling Dealing With Its" 24 June 2007. Web.22 October. 2016. <>

"Genetic Counseling Dealing With Its", 24 June 2007, Accessed.22 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Genetic Disease Diagnosis Screening and Treatment

    Genetic Disease Diagnosis The Trosacks Initial visit: three to five appropriate members for an interdisciplinary team When the Trosacks come for their initial consultation, they must first seek to gain insight into the nature of Tay-Sachs disease, particularly because they are unfamiliar with the illness and do not know any family members who have coped with the disease. This revelation is new and entirely unexpected. A certified genetic counselor with a specific understanding

  • Individual Impact of Genetic Diagnosis

    Individual Impacts Genetic Diagnosis Individual Impacts of Genetic Diagnosis The number of inherited disorders and risk factors that can be detected through genetic testing is increasing rapidly, and genetic testing may soon become a common component of routine medical care. Is behavioural medicine ready? For the first time, a sophisticated understanding of gene-environment interactions as manifested in the interactions among an individual's genetic predispositions, behaviour, and environment seems within reach. Rather than

  • Ethical Issues in Group Counseling

    The more experience a facilitator has with a minority group, the greater the likelihood the facilitator will be able to help those members feel included, rather than excluded from the group process. This is critical, because inclusion is an important social phenomenon. "Communities who are strong and inclusive lead to better quality of life, stronger sense of identity and belonging, sharing mutual respect and equality. It is further recognised

  • Trosack Family Dealing With a

    Their heritage is important because certain ethnic groups are more likely to be carriers of Tay-Sachs. "The incidence of Tay-Sachs is particularly high among people of Eastern European and Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Patients and carriers of Tay-Sachs disease can be identified by a simple blood test that measures beta-hexosaminidase a activity." (NINDS, 2011). Because the Trosacks have a fetus with Tay-Sachs, it is not necessary to test their blood

  • How Should Society Deal With Information About the Genetic Code

    cheap genomic sequencing has widespread and unforeseen cultural, political, and societal implications that have only just begun to reverberate through the human population at large. Genomic sequencing not only reveals some of the causes and connections behind certain diseases or disorders, but also puts the lie to certain forms of bigotry which assumed that dramatic phenotypic differences represented a similarly dramatic genetic or biological difference (put another way, genome

  • Biblical Counseling Human Physiology Is

    The specific way that individual behavior interacts with the group engenders mutually supportive behaviors. For example, one of the central theoretical theses comes from the early 1950s and is called the Social Learning Theory. This has a number of permutations, but suggests that the effect of behavior has a specific impact on the motivation of people who engage in that specific type of behavior. For instance, most of us

  • Christian Counseling for Autism Spectrum

    She references Romans 3: 23, 24: "…(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (New International Version). Ultimately, Hendricks informs, the comfort and safety of parents with autistic children must be revealed through "their faith that a sovereign God designed their child and planned all the days of

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved