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Med Sci (Paris). 2019 Nov;35(11):891-895. doi: 10.1051/medsci/2019173. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

[Hormone treatment for short statured children? For a critical approach to sociocultural norms about short stature].

[Article in French; Abstract available in French from the publisher]

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Centre de bioéthique, Children's Mercy Hospital, 2401 Gillham Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, États-Unis.


in English, French

Children's growth and height are thoroughly and regularly scrutinized by paediatricians and parents alike. A general consensus in treating short statured children with growth hormone (GH) exists when short stature is one of the symptoms of their pathological condition (e.g. Turner syndrome, small for gestational age, chronic renal insufficiency and Prader-Willi syndrome). Idiopathic short stature is instead a controversial diagnostic because it is based on the exclusion of any known medical causes of short stature. By proposing a critical reading of sociocultural norms about short stature, this article suggests that it is important to give a voice to concerned children and that the ethical debate about GH treatment should investigate the best ways in which children can take part in the decision-making process.


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