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THE PERILS OF PEDIATRICS

 

    The American Academy of Pediatrics seems to be seriously misunderstanding its mission lately, to judge by its decision to hold forth on the wisdom of teaching children under four to swim. (They have declared it unwise, as it instills a hazardous complacency about proximity to water in both parent and child.  I guess I'll stop sending little T.J. out to the lake unsupervised!) This follows a similarly butt-nosed opining on the keeping of guns in the home and other personal practices a few months ago.

 

    Just as I donít seek out my auto mechanicís thoughts to guide my motor vacation decisions or the attitude I take toward speed limits, I donít want to know what the medical hired help has to say about life at home or what to teach or not teach the kids. Frankly, parenting and the instilling of civic virtue are neither their specialties nor that for which they are paid. I do understand that it is only human to try to aggrandize oneself (which fact should give pause to those inclined to buy into such elevations), and thus forgive them their arrogant presumptuousness.  Considering how many TV shows there are these days celebrating doctors, a little swelling of the head is inevitable.

 

    However, such fantasies arising in the members of a profession already successful in securing a government enforced monopoly over such a critical power as prescription-writing are particularly dangerous. Therefore, I think it is time to call upon the services of another industry recently and increasingly guilty of turf-expansionism: psychiatry. Iím sure that in their recent epiphany in which some hundreds of new, hitherto unrecognized mental afflictions were discovered, all requiring the solicitous (and expensive) services of mental health workers, something along the lines of Professional Delusions of Grandeur has been identified.

 

© Peter E. Hendrickson