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Telling Genes

The Story of Genetic Counseling in America

Alexandra Minna Stern

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The history of contemporary genetic counseling, including its medical, personal, and ethical dimensions.

Winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of the Choice ACRL

For sixty years genetic counselors have served as the messengers of important information about the risks, realities, and perceptions of genetic conditions. More than 2,500 certified genetic counselors in the United States work in clinics, community and teaching hospitals, public health departments, private biotech companies, and universities. Telling Genes considers the purpose of genetic counseling for twenty-first century…

The history of contemporary genetic counseling, including its medical, personal, and ethical dimensions.

Winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of the Choice ACRL

For sixty years genetic counselors have served as the messengers of important information about the risks, realities, and perceptions of genetic conditions. More than 2,500 certified genetic counselors in the United States work in clinics, community and teaching hospitals, public health departments, private biotech companies, and universities. Telling Genes considers the purpose of genetic counseling for twenty-first century families and society and places the field into its historical context.

Genetic counselors educate physicians, scientific researchers, and prospective parents about the role of genetics in inherited disease. They are responsible for reliably translating test results and technical data for a diverse clientele, using scientific acumen and human empathy to help people make informed decisions about genomic medicine.

Alexandra Minna Stern traces the development of genetic counseling from the eugenics movement of the early twentieth century to the current era of human genomics. Drawing from archival records, patient files, and oral histories, Stern presents the fascinating story of the growth of genetic counseling practices, principles, and professionals.

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Telling Genes

Alexandra Minna Stern

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Publication Date: June 6, 2023
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Reviews

Reviews

Any collection strong in genetic health will find this a winner.

This book is an example of the best that history of science has to offer. Well written and exhaustively referenced, the work should be required reading for all students and faculty interested in modern medicine.

A fascinating study of the development of the concept and practice of genetic counseling in the United States since the early years of the twentieth century... Telling Genes is a very important contribution to the history of medical genetics and its clinical applications in the twentieth century.

In this well written and important book, Stern addresses the history of genetic counseling, a profession that has undergone drastic changes during its short history, while still remaining under the ‘shadow of eugenics'.

Stern has once again demonstrated her uncommon ability to present complex information in an accessible form.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
248
ISBN
9781421406688
Illustration Description
13 halftones, 6 line drawings
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. History: Genetic Counseling Develops
2. Genetic Risk: An Evolving Calculus
3. Race: Tense and Troubled Relations
4. Disability: The Dynamics of Difference
5. Women

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. History: Genetic Counseling Develops
2. Genetic Risk: An Evolving Calculus
3. Race: Tense and Troubled Relations
4. Disability: The Dynamics of Difference
5. Women: Transforming Genetic Counseling
6. Ethics: Shades of Gray in Genetic Counseling
7. Prenatal Diagnosis: The Handmaiden of Contemporary Genetic Counseling
Conclusion
Appendixes
A. Archival Materials Consulted
B. Interviewees
C. Master's Degree Genetic Counseling Programs in North America
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Alexandra Minna Stern
Featured Contributor

Alexandra Minna Stern, Ph.D.

Alexandra Minna Stern is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Culture, History, and Women's Studies, and a core faculty member in the Science, Technology, and Society Program at the University of Michigan.