Questions about the growth attenuation working group article in HCR Part 1

At the beginning of the article, the authors are not very honest in what they write about the 2006 Gunther & Diekema paper.

1.    The WG article writes that Gunther & Diekema “offered an ethical justification for growth attenuation.” No they didn’t. How could they do that without giving any details of the “special” ethics committee that had reviewed the case or its discussion?

2.    According to the WG article, Gunther & Diekema cited easier care for parents as the benefit of the growth attenuation. And “the parents believed” that it would lead to increased participation to social and recreational activities for Ashley, the WG article says Gunther & Diekema wrote back in 2006. No, they didn’t. In 2006, it was about continuing home care and the parents’ “fear” that their daughter’s growth would make it impossible, the “fear” Ashley’s parents said in their blog that they had not been feeling.

3.    The WG article writes that Gunther & Diekema gave a specific prediction of Ashley’s final height “from a predicted five feet four inches to approximately four feet six inches.” No they didn’t. As Dr. John Lantos pointed it out in his peer commentary to the Diekema & Fost article, “Ashley Revisited: A Response to the Critics” last year, the initial 2006 paper “gave no data on Ashley’s actual height, weight, or bone age. The authors mention only that she had gone from the 50th to the 75th percentile for a 6-year-old.” Actually, it was the parents’ blog that gave any specifics about Ashley’s height, not the physicians’ article. Just like it was the parents’ blog that made the breast bud removal public.

Are these innocent, careless mistakes? What baffles me is that Dr. Diekema is among the authors of the WG article. He should know what he himself wrote and what he didn’t write in 2006. Its not-so-faithful beginning of the WG article written by authors including Dr. Diekema makes me think a lot about its integrity as a supposedly academic paper.

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