Les conseillers en génétique et les professions médicales et infirmières au Québec: des frontières brouillées ?

In recent decades, genetic counsellors have come to play an indispensable role in the field of medical genetics. In part because this discipline is often executed within a multidisciplinary team in a hospital setting, genetic counsellors are deprived of the protection granted to other professionals by the Professional Code of Quebec. Most notably, Quebec law does not recognize acts exclusive to the profession and the use of title reserved to practising genetic counsellors. The related legal consequences are considerable. Understanding these consequences requires a study of the professional interaction between genetic counsellors, physicians, and nurses. This article first presents a review of the normative framework applicable to the practice of genetic counsellors. Second, it identifies the situations in which the genetic counsellor is at risk of infringing on the practice of physicians and nurses and the potential legal consequences that may result. Finally, the article suggests legislative and organisational solutions to these legal challenges. In particular, the legislative solution adopted by France, which recognizes the genetic counsellor’s professional status in its laws, provides useful guidance for reform in Quebec.

This content has been updated on December 16, 2015 at 15 h 31 min.