NSGC Terms and Conditions of Participation

Question Title

* 1. In order to facilitate the Program, the NSGC Board of Directors appoints seven NSGC members and one non-member bioethicist advisor to serve on the NSGC Ethics Advisory Group (EAG) each year.  The EAG’s purpose is to serve as an educational resource to the Board and membership on matters involving ethical concerns arising under the Code.  Generally, the EAG: (i) reviews, updates, and applies the Code both to individual NSGC members in their practice as well as to NSGC in its management functions and interactions with members and the general public; and (ii) works to develop, maintain, and publish educational information regarding the range of ethical issues confronting genetic counselors.

As part of its function, the EAG is available to respond to eligible inquires submitted through the Program.  NSGC members in good standing that agree to abide by the terms of the Program, may submit a written ethics inquiry to NSGC seeking the EAG’s insight into the interpretation and application of the Code to an ethical situation faced by the member.  Inquiries must be based on an accurate and complete set of facts actually encountered by the member in the course of his or her practice.  Inquiries must strictly adhere to HIPAA requirements and may not include any personally identifiable information (medical or otherwise) about a patient, patient’s relatives or friends, or other individuals or organizations and must not identify the member’s employer. Only inquiries seeking input with respect to the applicability of a specific section of the Code will be considered.   Inquiries that do not meet the Program’s requirements will not be reviewed.

NSGC will review inquiries submitted through the Program and, if appropriate, refer them to the EAG. A subcommittee of the EAG will review each eligible inquiry and prepare a written response that applies the ethical requirements set forth in the Code to the facts described in the inquiry (Response).  Responses will not include specific advice or directives but are meant to provide NSGC members with information they can use in connection with developing a plan to handle the ethical issue in question.  NSGC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to (i) reject an inquiry for any reason; or (ii) decide not to issue a Response to an inquiry.

NSGC (through the EAG) offers such Response as an educational tool and service to NSGC’s members. Neither NSGC nor the EAG dispenses practice, legal, medical, employment or any other type of advice or opinion and members participating in the Program may not rely on any Response received.  Additionally, variations in practice, which take into account the needs of individual patients, genetic counselors, institutions and the resources and limitations unique to the healthcare setting, may warrant approaches that differ from the information provided in the Response.  Therefore, information contained in a Response should not be interpreted as an exclusive interpretation of the Code nor the exclusive appropriate course of action.  Reliance on any information included in the Response does not guarantee a particular outcome.