NSGCommunities Rules

NSGCommunities Rules and Discussion Forum Etiquette apply to all facets of NSGC online communities, discussion forums, and the NSGConnect mentor program, including public and private postings, profile content, mentor and mentee enrollment and requests, directory usage, and library and event content and postings.

National Society of Genetic Counselors
NSGCommunities Access & Release Agreement

Welcome to the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) NSGCommunites (Community). The Community is presented by NSGC for the purposes of providing a peer-to-peer forum for the discussion of issues relating to the practice of genetic counseling (discussion forums), fostering genetic counseling mentor and mentee connections (NSGConnect), and providing NSGC elected and appointed volunteers private communities for interaction and communication. It is the policy of NSGC to allow any NSGC member to participate in the Community. Information on how to join the Community is presented to NSGC members in various formats.

As a condition of initial and continuing access to the Community, NSGC requires all participants to accept and adhere to the terms of this NSGCommunities Access & Release Agreement (Agreement). This Agreement governs your participation in and use of the Community. Please read the entirety of this Agreement carefully. The terms, conditions and rules set forth in this Agreement apply to all members of the Community (participants, you, or users) and constitute a binding, legal agreement between you, NSGC, and its agents and assigns.

NSGCommunites Rules
Community participants must adhere to the following rules:

  1. NSGC has made the Community available to participants for the purposes of providing a peer-to-peer forum for the discussion of issues relating to the field of genetic counseling, fostering genetic counseling mentor and mentor connections, and providing NSGC elected and appointed volunteers private communities for interaction and communication. Other uses are prohibited.
  2. NSGC is making this Community available to participants solely as a service. NSGC is not undertaking to render medical advice. Community participants must rely solely on their own judgment with respect to all issues regarding or involving genetic counseling or otherwise involving the practice of medicine or disease management. NSGC does not approve or endorse any specific practices that may be mentioned on the Community. NSGC makes no representations or warranties regarding the experience of, qualifications of, or information provided by Community participants or otherwise provided using the Community.
  3. Users must comply at all times with the Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (Privacy Rule) established by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to implement the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Information posted on the Community will not be treated as confidential and, therefore, should not identify any patient by name or other identifying features, characteristics, or any other individually identifiable Patient Health Information, as defined under the Privacy Rule. In fact, since any information posted on the Community may be downloaded, reproduced, and disseminated without the knowledge of user(s), users must use extreme care when posting or sending such information.
  4. Users acknowledge and agree that they (i) will not have any copyright or other property rights in or to information that they (or others) post on the Community; (ii) specifically waive any such property rights; and (iii) hereby grant all users a license to use (including the right to publish) all information posted by them on the Community.
  5. Users are prohibited from using the Community to communicate about prices or terms of service, to exchange practice management or any other proprietary information, or otherwise communicate in a manner that may violate federal or state antitrust laws.
  6. Discussion topics are not to be relied on as specific medical advice, and such responses are not intended to constitute practice guidelines or advice
  7. Users should exercise both common sense and courtesy in the messages they transmit on the Community and may not use the Community to transmit defamatory, obscene, and otherwise offensive communications, or to engage in personal attacks. Derogatory comments connected to race, religion, social class, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability, or any other comments derogatory in nature are prohibited.
  8. Users may not post or distribute files, articles, or other information subject to trademark, copyright, or other proprietary rights, except with the express consent of the owner of the rights
  9. Users are prohibited from posting commercial messages or promotions, advertising, or selling goods or services.
  10. Users must respect the security of the Community and may not attempt to gain access or provide access to areas private to NSGC or the Community.
  11. Users are prohibited from using the Community for any purpose that may be illegal. For example, the Community may not be used to solicit or disseminate information having to do with, or to conduct any activity relating to, illegal drugs, pornography, gambling, spreading computer viruses, software infringement, trafficking in credit card codes, price fixing, illegal boycotts, or other crimes.
  12. The Community may not be used in a manner that violates applicable federal, state, or local laws, the NSGC bylaws or any other policies, procedures, rules, or regulations of NSGC.
  13. NSGC shall deny access to the Community to any individual who has not agreed to the terms of this Agreement and reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by such terms.
  14. The Community is provided by NSGC for educational and informational purposes only.
  15. NSGC reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to (i) remove any postings or other content that is not consistent with this Agreement or otherwise not in the best interests of NSGC; and (ii) suspend or terminate access to the Community for violations of this Agreement or for otherwise acting in a manner contrary to the interests of NSGC.

Discussion Forum Etiquette

  1. Posts should be focused on issues directly related to the Genetic Counseling field. Please use the many alternative venues that exist for other types of content and discussions.
  2. State concisely and clearly the topic of your post in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject.
  3. Allow others to have their say and to share different points of view.
  4. If you disagree with a point of view, do so respectfully. Don’t attack or mock others. Repeated targeting of a peer with differing views is not permitted.
  5. Repeated posts containing the same or similar information – either within the same discussion or across different discussion threads – are not permitted.  Post should advance the conversation.
  6. Send messages such as "thanks for the information" or "me, too" to individuals, not to the entire list. Do this by using the "Reply to Sender" link.
  7. Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list,” to the group. Instead, use the web interface to change your settings or to remove yourself from a list. If you are changing email addresses, you do not need to remove yourself from the list and rejoin under your new email address. Simply change your email in your member profile. If you run into issues when updating your settings, email address, etc., please reach out to NSGC’s Executive Office at nsgc@nsgc.org.

The views expressed on the Community are those of the individual contributors. They do not and should not be construed as representing the views of NSGC. NSGC makes no warranty, guarantee, or representation as to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information posted on the Community, whether posted by NSGC or any third party, and NSGC assumes no responsibility or liability regarding the use or misuse of such information for any purpose. NSGC disclaims any responsibility to maintain copies of any information posted on the Community or to assure that such information is deleted. Unless specifically stated otherwise, NSGC does not endorse, approve, recommend, or certify any information, advice, guidance, product, process, service or organization presented or mentioned on the Community, and information from the Community should not be referenced in any way to imply such approval or endorsement. NEVERTHELESS, NSGC RETAINS THE RIGHT TO MONITOR POSTED INFORMATION AND REMOVE MESSAGES OR MATERIALS THAT IT BELIEVES DO NOT COMPLY WITH THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT OR ARE NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF NSGC.

This Agreement includes a legally binding release, waiver, discharge, and covenant not to sue (collectively, Release), made voluntarily by you, on your own behalf, and on behalf of your heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, and assigns (collectively, Releasor or you) to NSGC. As the Releasor, you fully recognize that NSGC does not require you to participate in or utilize the Community. With informed consent, and for valuable consideration received, including access to the Community, as the Releasor, you agree to assume and take on yourself all of the risks and responsibilities in any way arising from or associated with the Community and any materials, information, guidance, or advice contained in or posted on or to the Community, and you release NSGC and its affiliates, members, committees, board, officers, directors, legal representatives, employees, agents, administrators, assigns, and contractors (collectively, Releasees), from any and all claims, demands, suits, judgments, damages, actions, and liabilities of every name and nature whatsoever, whenever occurring, whether known or unknown, contingent or fixed, at law or in equity, that you may suffer at any time arising from or in connection with the Community, your acts or omissions, or information you transmit in connection with your participation in an use of the Community, and the materials, information, guidance, or advice contained on the Community, including any injury or harm to others (collectively, Liabilities), and you agree to defend, indemnify, and hold Releasees harmless from and against any and all Liabilities. As the Releasor, you recognize that this Release means that you are giving up, among other things, all rights to sue Releasees for injuries, damages, or losses that you may incur. You also understand that this Release binds your heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives,
and assigns, as well as yourself.

Choice of Law
This Agreement shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the State of Illinois, United States of America, exclusive of its choice of law or conflict of laws provisions. In addition, users consent to be subject to the exclusive personal jurisdiction of the state courts located in Cook County, Illinois or the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, whichever has jurisdiction, and waive any jurisdictional, venue, or inconvenient Community objections to such court in the event of any dispute between the parties.

NSGC reserves the right to modify or change the terms of this Agreement as it determines from time to time in the best interests of NSGC, provided that all Community users are notified prior to any such change. Use of the Community constitutes the user’s continuing agreement to be bound by this Agreement, as it is amended from time to time.

Acceptance of Access & Release Agreement
By joining the Community, you (i) represent and warrant that you have read this entire Agreement, including, without limitation, the terms of the Release set forth above; (ii) fully understand the terms of this Agreement (including, without limitation, the Release included herein) and acknowledge that you have had the opportunity to review this Agreement (including, without limitation, the terms of the Release) with an attorney of your choosing if you so desire; and (iii) agree to be legally bound by the terms of this Agreement.

Effective Date: August 16, 2018
Updated: June 13, 2024