Relevance to the Inquiry

23.4 The provision of appropriate information about genetic testing by medical practitioners to their patients and the provision of genetic counselling by appropriately trained health professionals may have an important, albeit indirect, role to play in protecting people from inappropriate discriminatory use of genetic information and in promoting privacy protection and ethical treatment and conduct.

23.5 For example, inappropriate discriminatory use of genetic information may arise where an employer seeks to rely on genetic information in making its employment decisions without fully comprehending the health implications of the information. Such misconceptions may be corrected by the provision of more complete or nuanced information by a medical practitioner or genetic counsellor. Similarly, inappropriate disclosure (or non-disclosure) of genetic information to an individual’s relatives may be minimised where patients are properly advised about the implications for others of their test results.

23.6 Submissions and consultations have highlighted concerns about access to genetic counselling and about the inadequate knowledge of medical practitioners about genetics and related ethical issues.