May 1995

Children and Their Diseases

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics University of Massachusetts 55 Lake Ave N Worcester, MA 01655

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(5):583. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170180113021

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I confess to being an admirer of precision in the use of language, particularly when it comes to speaking with or about children. Therefore, I was saddened to see the jargon "pediatric hemophiliacs" on the cover of the June 1994 issue of the Archives. I recognize that everyone does not agree with the contention that our choice of words is significant, but I do. I believe that there is a difference between "hemophiliacs," ("leukemics," "asthmatics," or "diabetics") and "children with hemophilia," etc. When a former associate, Margaret Mohrmann, MD, took on teaching responsibilities, she passed this point of view on by developing the following exercise for students and residents: Close your eyes and identify how you feel when you hear "a 10-year-old leukemic;" now repeat the exercise with "a 10-year-old child with leukemia." I submit that the former jargon has developed not only because it is a bit shorter but

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