Doctor's Expertise and Managing Discrepant Information from Other Sources in Genetic Counseling: A Conversation Analytic Perspective
Journal of Genetic Counseling
(Published online: 30 December 2005)
Esa Lehtinen (1) and Helena Kääriäinen (2, 3)
(1) Department of Modern Finnish and Translation, University of Vaasa, P.O. Box 700, Vaasa, 65101, Finland
(2) Department of Medical Genetics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
(3) Department of Clinical Genetics, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
The study examines a recurrent interactional pattern in genetic counseling. It describes clinical geneticists' responses in situations in which clients have presented information from other sources that is potentially discrepant with information given by the doctor. The data consists of 12 video-recorded sessions of genetic counseling in Finland, and the method is conversation analysis. There are two primary ways the doctors respond: either they accept the client's information as such, but show that it is not discrepant with the doctor's information, or they reject the client's information. In the latter case they mitigate the ‘wrongness’ of the client's information. The clinical geneticists seem to be working with a dilemma: they need to find a balance between ensuring correct understanding of the information and showing respect for the expertise of others. A particularly complex case is also analyzed and reflected on.
(C) Journal of Genetic Counseling
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