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The figure of the genetic counsellor according to Luis Pérez Jurado, director of the Master in Genetic Counselling

[05/05/11]

Luis Pérez Jurado, UPF lecturer and director of the Master in Genetic Counselling, was interviewed on 31st March for the Health Care special in La Vanguardia newspaper.

Pérez Jurado, an expert in genetic counselling, explained that it is possible to diagnose over 3,000 genetic diseases, and that the caring and follow-up process for patients and their families involves important changes.

The genetic counsellor is a health care professional whose function is to communicate and present individuals with genetic risks, diagnostic tests and the options available for their treatment. This therefore requires knowledge of genetics, biology and medicine, but also psycho-social, educational and emotional aspects, since they also provide support services and can lead on to other professional services related to education, caring and the community. Although this figure has been functioning in Europe, North America and Australia for decades , in Spain the figure of the Genetic Counsellor is yet to be regulated. This is despite the fact that legislative moves have been made, such as the 2007 Spanish Biomedical Research Law, the Genetics Laws and the Genetics Council of the Andalusian Autonomous Government. Nevertheless, health care institutions still need to be aware that this figure must be established so as to guarantee an increasingly necessary service, given scientific advances in genetics.

A pioneer in this field, the IDEC-UPF Master in Genetic Counselling offers the internationally required skills and qualifications to work as a professional genetic counsellor.

For more information you can consult the complete interview

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