Disclosing Huntington’s Genetic Testing Results in the Context of Intellectual Disability and Guardianship: Using the Family Illness Narrative to Guide the Flow of Information

Mark B. Warren, Kathryn M. Schak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


A diagnosis of Huntington’s disease has broad social, vocational, reproductive and psychological implications. The ability to accurately diagnose the illness via genetic testing is not new. However, given a persistent lack of robustly effective interventions, it remains an area of ethical concern. The difficulty is compounded in cases of intellectual disability. This paper presents a case of genetic testing for Huntington’s disease conducted on a patient with intellectual disability with guardian consent, but without the patient’s direct knowledge and how the family illness narrative and psychiatric care were employed in the eventual disclosure of the patient’s diagnosis and subsequent management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 15 2016



  • Family illness narrative
  • Guardianship
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Intellectual disability
  • Predictive genetic testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)

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