a1 Center for Perinatal Studies Swedish Medical Center Seattle, Washington
Is genetic counseling a form of eugenics? To some extent, the answer depends upon how the terms “eugenics” and “genetic counseling” are defined. This paper reviews the eugenic implications of four models of genetic counseling. The complexities of slapping the eugenic label on genetic counseling are illustrated with three cases drawn from clinical practice. However, even though genetic counseling is not always a eugenic activity, genetic counselors work in a medical/ financial setting that has the net eugenic effect of, and profits from, reducing the number of people with genetic disorders.