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Genethics forum

The Genethics Forum is a national forum for the discussion, by health professionals, of practical ethical problems encountered in the working lives of clinical genetics departments in the United Kingdom.    

The Genethics Club takes place three times a year and anyone working in a clinical genetics department is welcome to come along. The meetings are relatively informal in order to facilitate discussion of cases presented from different centres. The meetings usually include a plenary talk on a particular theme of interest, such as for example, a talk by a medical lawyer on the law on confidentiality in genetics. The meetings are multi-disciplinary and aim to have a medical ethicist and an academic medical lawyer present at each meeting. The Genethics Club policy on confidentiality and case discussion is below.


  • To help health professionals to identify ethical issues arising in the day to day practice of their work with patients and families        
  • To help geneticists, genetic counsellors and nurses to develop their skills in identifying and resolving ethical issues        
  • To provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of cases from units around the country        
  • To encourage the sharing of good practice        
  • To help units to develop ways of ensuring that ethical considerations inform the day to day practice of their units        
  • To contribute to the improvement of ethical decision-making in practice


Anyone working in the speciality of clinical genetics, as well as medical lawyers or ethicists with an interest in genetics.    

“I recommend Genethics club to any clinicians dealing with ethical issues in genetic practice; it has been a particularly invaluable resource for trainees in genetic medicine (both doctors and genetic counsellors). The fact that it has remained active for all these years is testament to how useful we have found it.”    

Lauren Kerzin-Storrar, Consultant Genetic Counsellor (Head) and MSc Course Director, Genetic Medicine, Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre/CMFT, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester



A charge of £20 is made for attendance at in person Genethics Club meetings.


The Genethics Club Steering Group is: Tara Clancy, Angus Clarke, Anneke Lucassen, and Michael Parker. For more information about the Genethics Club contact