A Responsibility Model of Genetic Counseling

  • Joseph B. Fanning
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 124)


In the previous chapter, I introduced and elaborated the teaching and psychotherapeutic models of genetic counseling. The models were located within larger narratives from which they inherited distinct views of communication. I claim that the teaching model of genetic counseling is underwritten by the technical vision of communication; the psychotherapeutic model by the therapeutic vision of communication. Both are broadly situated in what John Durham Peters’ calls the spiritualist tradition. In this chapter I develop an alternative view that has been offered in the genetic counseling literature that places responsibility at the center of its approach. After introducing the responsibility model, I elaborate it in reference to a different philosophical story about communication whose details are worked out in Robert Brandom’s pragmatic model of conversational scorekeeping. These additional expressive resources are then used to flesh out the theses of the responsibility model.


Genetic Counseling Down Syndrome Responsibility Model Teaching Model Responsible Decision 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph B. Fanning
    • 1
  1. 1.Vanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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