Introduction: Genetic counseling can be practiced under four scenarios: preconception, preimplantation, prenatal, and postnatal (which is similar to preconception). Some authors argue that it should be considered a form of eugenics. The aim of this article is to present different views expressed in the literature regarding the relation between genetic counseling and eugenics. Materials and methods: A search of articles was conducted in several academic databases using the MeSH/DeCS terms bioethics, medical genetics, genetic counseling, and eugenics. Articles were included if they discussed eugenics or genetic screening. Articles were excluded if they provided a technical description of procedures. The selection was made after examining titles, abstracts, and full texts. Results: Fifty-seven articles were selected for analysis. In preconception counseling, the “reproductive beneficence principle” can be based on eugenic practices of the early twentieth century. In pre-implantation consultation, the genetic selection of embryos can be considered eugenic when it is used to change the natural course of reproduction or used for non-medical purposes. Prenatal diagnosis, when linked to abortion as a response to congenital malformations, can be considered negative eugenics. Conclusion: At present, eugenics can be defined in multiple ways. By some definitions, genetic counseling can be framed as a eugenic practice. However, the design of health policies and the interests of society may influence the autonomy of individuals. The possibility of generating a genetic selection of individuals, on the other hand, can be constituted as positive eugenics.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Is genetic counseling a form of eugenics?
|Number of pages
|Revista ciencias de la salud
|Published - Jan 1 2018
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Health(social science)