Genetic counseling throughout the life cycle

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As the definition of genetic counseling continues to evolve (see the related article beginning on page 1274), so does the application of genetic counseling services in all areas of medicine and throughout the human life cycle. While governmental policy, economics, ethics, and religion continue to influence society's views regarding the necessity of testing germ cells for mutations to prevent the birth of an affected child or predicting whether healthy adults will develop future life-threatening illness, patient autonomy in the choice of whether to know, or not know, one's genetic make-up remains a core principle of genetic counseling.

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