Genetic counselling

 

Providing access to counselling services to assist in the management of genetic testing in families.

Sonic Genetics uses accredited genetic laboratories in Australia and overseas to provide genetic tests of high quality. However, genetic testing involves more than just good laboratory practice.

A genetic test for a heritable mutation may have broader implications for the person tested (e.g. life insurance, family planning) as well as significant implications for family members (e.g. future health, life insurance etc). This type of genetic test carries implications that can be different from those typically considered for a pathology test. We recommend that the doctor requesting such a genetic test have a careful discussion about the medical and non-medical implications for both the patient and relatives before the test is performed; this discussion should be noted in the patient’s record.

A genetic test of a cancer will typically identify mutations that are not heritable, having occurred only in the cancer. Such mutations do not have broader implications for the patient or the family. This genetic test usually carries the same implications as most other tests performed on a cancer, and does not require specific consideration of family-related issues.

The doctor requesting a genetic test may be confident to provide the necessary counselling and obtain consent from the patient. In other situations, the doctor (or patient) may wish to utilise the services of a genetic counsellor. Genetic counsellors are certified allied health professionals with expertise in helping patients understand and manage the consequences of a genetic test.

Sonic Genetics is a laboratory service and is not primarily a provider of genetic counselling. Sonic Genetics maintains a list of public and private genetic counselling services nationally. Referral to these services would be a matter for the doctor and patient to consider; Sonic does not manage such referrals. We do offer genetic counselling in a number of specific situations for patients or couples who have been tested or are planning to be tested by Sonic Genetics, through one of the Sonic Healthcare pathology laboratories.

Click the below section of interest for more information about genetic counselling provided by Sonic Genetics: