Insight Lectures

Medicine

Sabine Hentze
"It is not obvious in medicine to tell a patient they have the right to be allowed not to know. "

Sabine Hentze

Human Genetics - Diagnostics, indications and ethical issues

Sabine Hentze is a specialist in human genetics and genetic counsellor with a practice offering chromosome analyses and molecular diagnostics for hereditary diseases. She also establishes the genetic causes behind malformations or developmental disorders in children.

The largest part of Dr Hentze's work involves genetic counselling. A genetic counsellor presents the testing options available, the accuracy of the respective tests and discuss the experience with these tests. Whether or not to have DNA testing is an important decision for individuals and also for their families. Unfortunately, there is no right decision and no formula for making a decision of this type. There is no 'one-size-fits-all' scenario. Each case is an intensely personal choice. This does not mean, however, that it has to be made in isolation, and that is where genetic counselling can play an important role.

"No one can be forced to carry out a genetic test," she says. "How are we going to regulate genetic diagnostics in the future? This will be our future challenge - in legislation, as a society and as individuals."