European journal of human genetics vol:15 issue:12 pages:1211-1217
The aim of this study is to gather information from European clinical geneticists about their practices and attitudes with regard to carrier testing in incompetent children. European clinical institutes where genetic counseling is offered to patients have been contacted. One hundred and seventy-seven of the 287 eligible respondents, corresponding to a response rate of 63%, completed the questionnaire. For all autosomal recessive and X-linked disorders studied, the majority of the respondents were very unwilling or unwilling to provide a carrier test to a 6-year-old asymptomatic child on parental request (range 73-91%). The results of the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney U test indicated that for almost all disorders, respondents from Eastern and Southern European countries are more willing to provide a carrier test to a 6-year-old asymptomatic child than respondents from Western and Northern European countries. The Spearman's rank correlation coefficients showed that when a clinical geneticist was unwilling to perform such a test, he/she mostly disagreed that parental uncertainty and anxiety was a good reason to perform a carrier test, he/she mostly disagreed that parents should have the right to decide about such a test, he/she mostly agreed that future autonomy and the confidentiality of genetic information is violated if this test is performed. Overall, the survey showed an adherence to existing recommendations and guidelines regarding carrier testing in incompetent minors. However, for every condition studied, a group of clinical geneticists was willing or very willing to provide a carrier test to a 6-year-old child on parental request.