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Ethical and cultural issues 

Ethical and cultural issues
Ethical and cultural issues

Athalie Melville

and Sally Watts

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date: 02 August 2021

Genetic counselling within cancer genetics almost always involves the wider family. Families come from different parts of the world and comprise a wide range of ethnicities, religions and languages. Even families who share a common language may have different uses for particular words. They will have developed practices that combine many aspects of their cultural background. Some practices will be common but others may be more specific to a family or even one individual within a family.. Life experience will vary. A family will have developed their own ‘culture’. Ethical issues arise when there are differences in opinion, values and beliefs within families or between individuals and their healthcare providers. This chapter cites examples from practice and presents a case study to help illustrate the ethical and cultural issues surrounding managing a genetic predisposition to cancer.

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