Bioethics News

Should Parents of Children with Severe Disabilities Be Allowed to Stop Their Growth?

March 22, 2016

(New York Times) – When I visited Cloudcroft two summers ago, Ricky was small for his age — just 42 inches tall and 37 pounds, about the size of an average 4-year-old boy. In part this was because of genetics and his various health problems, but it was also partly a result of his having been through a controversial medical intervention known as growth-attenuation therapy. From the time he was 4 until just shy of his 7th birthday, he received doses of estrogen high enough to stimulate the premature closing of the epiphyseal or “growth” plates, the thin wedges of cartilage found at the end of the long bones in children and adolescents.

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