The National Society of Genetic Counselors supports regulation of genetic testing for health-related conditions and hereditary diseases for clinical use. Genetic counselors are trained practitioners who can identify, order, and coordinate genetic laboratory tests as appropriate, which ensures high-quality clinical genetic services are provided. Any decision to regulate genetic testing should be patient-focused and should carefully weigh the potential risk of hindering technological advancements that are critical to patient care with the need to uphold quality and safety standards.
Regulation should not interfere with patient access to high-quality clinically useful information, nor should it impede practitioners who have specialized training from delivering clinical genetic services. Regulation should:
- Protect patients from undue harm by developing clinical utility and analytical validity standards;
- Ensure that practitioners correctly interpret and deliver results;
- Prevent barriers to accessing genetic tests, especially for underrepresented and underserved communities;
- Promote the use of accurate and clear advertising of genetic testing;
- Create transparency and improve public awareness in the use or intended application of a genetic test.
(Adopted 2010; Revised 2018; Revised 2022)
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