How do medical therapies launched with the best of intentions result in tragedy? My co-author, Susan Cohen, answered this question in a lengthy essay in the British medical journal The Lancet earlier this month. Shortly after our book came out, The Lancet asked if we would contribute an essay on the subject of our book: the 50-year history of treating tall and short children with hormones in order to make them "normal" in the eyes of society.
In The Lancet essay, Susan wrote: "The story of treating stature is ultimately the story of temptation. The temptation of parents trying everything to secure their child's current and future happiness or success. The temptation for doctors who want to help children grow and believe that they can alleviate suffering, even of the social variety, with a prescription. The temptations offered by industry, not just in the form of consulting fees but also the more general offer to provide a medical fix for social problems. The temptation to try to see into our children's futures, and for all of us to believe we know more than we do..."