September 1981

Fringe Pediatrics

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Charing Cross Hospital (Fulham) Fulham Palace Rd London W6 8RF England

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(9):862-863. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130330072023

London.—There is a subtle difference between originality and novelty, as between fame and notoriety. Fringe medicine is the waste product of true invention, thriving on news and glitter in a soil of human frailty. Medical humbug has been around for a very long time and will no doubt go on flourishing as long as there is a demand. Its invasion into pediatrics is relatively new and has been spurred on the public's increasing preoccupation with the minds and bodies of babies, including those not yet born. Whether or not this is a good thing is open to argument. When is ignorance truly blissful? For better or for worse, people have developed an unquenchable thirst for the technicalities of anything from childbearing to child rearing, and the more technical the better. Ironically, our respective infant food industries are under attack, although they have probably done more than most to spread

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