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November 13, 1981

Counseling in Medical Genetics

Author Affiliations

City of Hope Medical Center Duarte, Calif

JAMA. 1981;246(19):2252-2253. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320190076042

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A book full of errors, incomplete discussions, omissions, and commissions should be easy to review. And yet, it is not. This is because Dr Reed combines these faults with some real assets, which are easy readability (with occasional lapses into jargon) and a style comprehensible to the family physician, the apparent target of the book.

The unevenness of the text can be seen in examples from chapter 11 on "Blood Genetics." A frequent characteristic is that of inadequate or complete lack of explanation of a statement that clearly calls for explanation. On page 82, the author states that heterozygotes for sickle cell anemia (Hb A/S) make more HbA than HbS. Why? Later (page 84), reference to restriction analysis for prenatal diagnosis of sickle cell anemia as a "method to study the hemoglobin chains," instead of hemoglobin genes, is misleading. The bibliography cites Panney et al (1979), with no mention of