Programs that utilize any of a variety of techniques to detect fetal abnormalities prior to the birth of the child. Results of the tests can be used to manage the remaining weeks of pregnancy, plan for possible complications in the birth process, plan for care of the newborn infant, decide whether to continue the pregnancy and/or determine whether fetal treatment is required.
Programs that apply what is known about human genetics to advise prospective parents who are concerned about the recurrence of hereditary problems or abnormalities in their offspring or for others (adults and children) who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions and need information about their own prospects for health. Genetic counselling is also routinely offered to women, usually age 35 and older, who are considering a first pregnancy. Genetic counsellors identify families at risk, investigate the problem present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family. They also provide supportive counselling to families, serve as patient advocates and refer individuals and families to community or provincial support services.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.