Terms and Conditions of Participation
The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) is pleased to offer the NSGC Ethics Inquiry Review Program (Program) as a member benefit to NSGC members in good standing.
- By submitting an ethics inquiry (Inquiry) to NSGC, you agree to these Terms and Conditions of Participation (Terms). NSGC reserves the right to change these Terms from time to time. The current version of the Terms will always be posted on NSGC’s website, and you may view it at any time through the link at the bottom of the NSGC Ethics Inquiry Review page [insert link here].
- Description of Service. An NSGC member in good standing may use the link below to submit an Inquiry to NSGC. The Inquiry must: (a) solicit the interpretation and application of the NSGC Code of Ethics (Code) (and nothing more); (b) include an accurate and complete account of an anonymized set of facts encountered in the course of the member’s practice; and (c) pertain only to the member’s prospective action, conduct, or activity in response to those circumstances. Inquiries may not include any personally identifiable information (medical or otherwise) about a patient, patient’s relatives or friends, or other individuals or organizations and must not identify the member’s employer. NSGC will review the Inquiry and, if appropriate, refer it to NSGC’s Ethics Advisory Group (EAG). The EAG then will evaluate the Inquiry in accordance with the Code and provide written information (Response) interpreting and applying the Code based on the information set forth in the Inquiry. The EAG offers such Response as a service to, and an educational tool for, NSGC members in good standing.
- NSGC members who choose to submit an Inquiry, as described above, must exercise extreme care when providing information about the underlying factual circumstances and must comply at all times with the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule) established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to implement the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Information provided to NSGC and/or the EAG will not be treated as confidential and, therefore, should not identify any patient by name or other identifying features, characteristics, or any other individually identifiable Patient Health Information, as defined in the Privacy Rule.
Please note, any Inquiry submitted to NSGC, as well as the accompanying Response prepared by the EAG, may be published or otherwise made available to other NSGC members in good standing or other interested parties for educational purposes. The name of the member submitting the Inquiry will be deleted prior to publication, however, no other information contained in the Inquiry will be deleted or otherwise altered prior to publication or dissemination.
- Responses are limited to: (a) the interpretation and application of the Code based on the specific information set forth in the Inquiry; and (b) the NSGC member’s prospective action, conduct, or activity in response to those circumstances. An NSGC member who submits an Inquiry describing any completed action, conduct, or activity that reveals an actual or potential violation of the Code may subject himself or herself to an ethics investigation, including potential disciplinary action. In addition, in the event an ethics complaint is brought involving a member’s conduct in connection with the same circumstances underlying an Inquiry for which a Response has been issued, the information or guidance included in a Response is not binding on, and irrelevant to, the disposition of the ethics complaint.
- NSGC and the EAG rely solely on the NSGC member who submits the Inquiry to: (a) solely seek information regarding interpretation and application of the Code; (b) include an accurate and complete account of an anonymized set of facts encountered in the course of the member’s practice; and (c) ask only about the member’s prospective action, conduct, or activity in response to those circumstances. Responses will only interpret and apply the Code based on the information set forth in the Inquiry.
NSGC (through the EAG) offers the Program and the Responses as an educational tool and service to NSGC’s members. Responses represent the collective judgment of a majority of the members of the EAG reviewing the Inquiry. Neither NSGC nor the EAG dispenses practice, legal, medical, employment or any other type of advice or opinion and members participating in the Program may not rely on any Response received. Additionally, variations in practice, which take into account the needs of individual patients, genetic counselors, institutions and the resources and limitations unique to the health care setting, may warrant approaches that differ from the information provided in the Response. Therefore, information contained in a Response should not be interpreted as an exclusive interpretation of the Code nor the exclusive appropriate course of action. Reliance on any information included in the Response does not guarantee a particular outcome. NSGC and the EAG make no warranty, guaranty, or representation regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, operability, or legality of information contained within any Response issued by the EAG.
- Limitation of Liability. In no event shall NSGC, its affiliates, committees, officers, directors, members, employees, attorneys or agents, including, without limitation, the members of the EAG, be liable for any damages of any kind, including, without limitation, any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages, whether or not advised of the possibility of such damages, and on any theory of liability whatsoever, arising out of, or in connection with, the Program (including, without limitation, your participation in the Program), any Response provided or published by the EAG and/or NSGC, or any other activities relating to the NSGC Ethics Inquiry Review Program.
- Choice of Law and Forum. These Terms are entered into and performed in the State of Illinois, United States of America, and are governed by the laws of Illinois, exclusive of its choice of law or conflict of laws provisions. In any claim or action directly or indirectly arising under these Terms or related to NSGC Ethics Inquiry Review Program, each party irrevocably submits to the exclusive personal jurisdiction of the state courts located in Cook County, Illinois, or the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, whichever has jurisdiction, and each party waives any jurisdictional, venue, or inconvenient forum objections to such court.
- Complete Agreement. If any provision or provisions of these Terms are held by a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction not to be enforceable, then such provision(s) shall be limited or eliminated to the minimum extent necessary so that these Terms shall otherwise remain in full force and effect. These Terms supersede any other statements elsewhere, including those made elsewhere on the NSGC website, in other NSGC materials, or by NSGC personnel or volunteers, that may be inconsistent or conflict with these Terms.
- NSGC reserves the right to modify or change the Terms as it determines from time to time in the best interests of NSGC. Submission of an Inquiry to NSGC for review constitutes the user’s continuing agreement to be bound by these Terms, as they are amended from time to time.
Effective Date: January 31, 2017