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Retired Position Statements

Human Cloning By Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) For Reproductive or Therapeutic Purposes

Cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) involves replacing the nucleus of an egg cell with the nucleus of a somatic cell from a donor, to create a zygote with the same nuclear DNA as the donor. The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) opposes the use of SCNT for reproductive purposes, given widespread ethical concerns, including evidence of decreased reproductive success and life span in animals.  NSGC supports the use of SCNT using human DNA only in those circumstances where it offers unique potential for therapy or research.  In addition, because it uses human eggs and generates human embryos, SCNT should be limited to only those instances when using SCNT adds value that cannot be achieved through alternative methods, and only with informed consent from both the egg and DNA donors.

Stem Cell Research

The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) recognizes that the unique potential of stem cell therapy to treat human disease and injury can be realized only through research on a diverse array of stem cell lines drawn from multiple sources, including embryonic, cord blood, and adult cells.  NSGC supports the use of stem cells in research and clinical settings when practices adhere to defined ethical and legal guidelines.  Available stem cell lines should reflect our genetically diverse population, and donor recruitment should be without discrimination or coercion and include a thorough and dynamic informed consent process. 


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed lack of access to genetic counseling as a significant problem as hospitals mitigate the spread of the virus by delivering remote healthcare services. Genetic counselors’ lack of recognition in Medicare laws and regulations prevents genetic counselors from delivering services by telehealth to Medicare beneficiaries. Thus, as genetic counselors shift to telehealth, Medicare beneficiaries may have emergent needs that go unaddressed.

Evidence demonstrates that high quality genetic services can be delivered effectively through telehealth. The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) calls on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue a Section 1135 waiver to allow Medicare beneficiaries access to certified genetic counselors through telehealth during the COVID-19 declared emergency.

For a permanent solution, Congress should enact the Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act, allowing genetic counselors to practice independently when serving Medicare beneficiaries aligned with scope of practice as defined by state licensure. Enacting the Access to Genetic Counselor Services Act will modernize Medicare and ensure beneficiaries long-term access to high quality genetic services.