Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pediatric Use of Complementary Therapies: Ethical and Policy Choices

"Pediatric Use of Complementary Therapies: Ethical and Policy Choices" by Cohen et al. appeared in the October issue of Pediatrics electronic pages.

Pediatric Use of Complementary Therapies: Ethical and Policy Choices"
Michael H. Cohen, JD, MBA*,{ddagger},§, Kathi J. Kemper, MD, MPH, Laura Stevens, BA, Dean Hashimoto, JD, MD and Joan Gilmour, LLB, JSD

* Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts{ddagger} LLB Program, College of the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas§ Institute for Integrative and Energy Medicine, Cambridge, Massachusetts Department of Pediatrics, Brenner Children’s Hospital, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Boston College School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts# Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Objective. Many pediatricians and parents are beginning to integrate use of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies with conventional care. This article addresses ethical and policy issues involving parental choices of CAM therapies for their children.

Methods. We conducted a literature search to assess existing law involving parental choice of CAM therapies for their children. We also selected a convenience sample of 18 states of varying sizes and geographic locations. In each state, we inquired within the Department of Health and Human Services whether staff were aware of (1) any internal policies concerning these issues or (2) any cases in the previous 5 years in which either (a) the state initiated proceedings against parents for using CAM therapies for their children or (b) the department received telephone calls or other information reporting abuse and neglect in this domain. We asked the American Academy of Pediatrics and the leading CAM professional organizations concerning any relevant, reported cases.

[for full text see Pediatrics online at]

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