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Article updated with new sources and to expand upon discussion of ethics.

Updated on 23 May 2019. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 18 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The recent explosion of genetic and genomic knowledge that was a product of the Human Genome Project has extraordinary implications for social workers and their client population. Genetics and genomics are interdisciplinary fields. Their scope reaches beyond the doctor’s office and beyond medical professionals. Social workers must recognize how vital their role is in helping clients come to terms with being at risk for a genetic condition or facing the uncertainty of a genetic diagnosis in the family. Understanding the psychosocial and ethical implications of genetic testing is important for all social workers, no matter where they are practicing. Social workers need to know the basics of genetics and genomics and take an active part in protecting their clients from genetic discrimination.

Keywords: genetics, genomics, genetic counseling, genetic testing, gene editing, ethics

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