June 1957

A Letter to a Doctor

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1957;93(6):638-639. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1957.02060040640006

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Dear Doctor:

You have just told me that my four-year-old son, Steve, should have a second eye operation in order to further correct the condition of his crossed eyes. With the shocking memory of his recent eye surgery so fresh in both our minds, I consider any hospitalization that is not an emergency an impossibility at this time. It would be preferable for him to have slightly crossed eyes for life than to undergo another such experience. As a parent who takes the sum total of her child's welfare into consideration I can never let this second operation occur unless things are handled very differently.

Let me paint the picture of what happened to Steve. I prepared him for his operation and stay in the hospital by telling him what would happen and why. I told him what the doctor was going to do for him and why it was

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