Screening program

Important, please read!

This service does not aim to replace a genetic counselling session. If you have any concerns regarding your family history or would prefer to receive individualized counselling, please contact the Department of Medical Genetics. Call 514-412-4427, ask for an appointment for a genetic counselling session and mention that you are aware of this website, but that you would prefer to meet with a genetic counsellor.


Individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry wishing to learn more about the screening program.


How do I use this screening program?

This section is divided into 4 topics:

  • Introduction to the screening program.
  • Genetic conditions more common in the Ashkenazi Jewish community.
  • Principles of genetics.
  • Details of testing, and the possible results.

What are the quizzes?

Questions will be asked at the end of each topic and need to be answered correctly in order to continue to the next topic. The purpose of the quizzes is to assure that you understand the important concepts explained throughout the program as they will help you make a decision regarding testing. At the end of the screening program, if you wish to get tested, you will be able to print a requisition and go for your blood draw.

Do I need to get tested?

Access to genetic testing will be available but not required, as this choice is a personal one. Deciding to continue with testing will allow you to know if you are a carrier of one of the Jewish genetic disorders for which the MUHC offers screening: Tay-Sachs disease, Canavan disease and familial dysautonomia. A carrier is someone who has a genetic change that does not affect his own health. However, if both members of a couple are found to be carriers of the same genetic condition, they will have an increased chance of having a child with this condition.

What important information do I need to know before starting?

If both you and your partner are of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and want to have genetic testing, each of you has to go through this website independently. Going through the screening program section takes between 30-45 minutes. If you exit this section before the end, you will be redirected to the beginning of the program and will have to start over again.

Click here to continue with screening program.