Medicolegal Aspects of Genetic Counseling

  • Kurt Hirschhorn


When I was asked to prepare a paper on potential situations in genetic counseling which may result in questions of malpractice, I felt a bit like the unarmed Christian martyr who was told to enter the Roman arena in order to fight a group of lions with large teeth. The current attitudes in the United States encouraging such suits, while reducing protection, make me quite hesitant to engage in an exercise designed to sharpen those teeth. I will therefore largely refrain from listing too many specific problems and will rather address myself to the general principles involved. Although many of the issues concern the procedures of amniocentesis and screening, these will not be dealt with in my paper, but are being considered by other speakers. I am not an expert on legal matters and therefore wish to express my gratitude to Mr. Roger Dworkin of the University of Washington for bringing several of these matters to my attention.


Genetic Counseling Artificial Insemination Future Pregnancy Large Tooth Legal Matter 
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  1. 1.
    Report of the Law Commission, #60. HM Stationery Office, London, 1974.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Troppi v. Scarf, 31 Mich. App 240, 187 N.W. 2d 511 (1971).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Hirschhorn
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Medical Genetics of the Mount Sinai School of MedicineCity University of New YorkUSA

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