Asesoramiento genético: ¿Una práctica que estimula la eugenesia?

Translated title of the contribution: Is genetic counseling a form of eugenics?

Ricardo Miguel Luque Bernal, Roberto José Buitrago Bejarano

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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 contributionIs genetic counseling a form of eugenics?
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)10-26
Number of pages17
JournalRevista ciencias de la salud
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)


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