Obstetricians' attitudes toward genetic screening

L. Gordis, B. Childs, M. G. Roseman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The findings in this study demonstrate that physicians' attitudes are closely related to their management of at-risk patients in regard to referral for genetic screening. Fewer of the obstetricians who did not refer patients were board certified than those who did, and almost one-third had a primary affiliation with a non-teaching hospital suggesting that appropriate educational efforts might be effective in altering the referral patterns of these obstetricians. This educational need has been emphasized by others. It is interesting that even among those opposing abortion 41 percent favoured screening for genetically determined diseases. It thus appears that obstetricians favoring genetic screening see a variety of potential benefits to the screened subjects such as genetic counseling both preconceptually and prenatally. They do not see abortion as the sole consequence of the positive identification of Tay-Sachs status. The finding that almost 40 per cent of obstetricians who have patients to refer for Tay-Sachs screening favour a legal requirement for the service, regardless of whether or not they themselves had referred patients for screening, is particularly striking in view of the tendency of the medical profession to express concern about government regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-471
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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