Genetic Counseling and Spiritual Assessment

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


In the previous chapter, the value of nondirectiveness was shown to be a contested and defining feature of genetic counseling. It was interpreted from the standpoint of the teaching, psychotherapeutic and responsibility models and then respectively applied to Debbie’s case. The responsibility model proposes that genetic counselors need to acknowledge the presence of directiveness and nondirectiveness in both meaning-making and decision-making processes. A key communication skill in genetic counseling –and all health care communication for that matter – is recognizing when directiveness or nondirectiveness is appropriate based on the current conversational score. One area where this skill is difficult to employ involves issues of spirituality and religion.


Genetic Counseling Down Syndrome Responsibility Model Teaching Model Spiritual Practice 
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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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