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October 1996

The Undoing of a Diagnosis-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Child Health University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65212

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(10):1106. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170350108023

In writing "The Undoing of a Diagnosis,"1 I, of course, was thinking of the making of a diagnosis and its many components that have to unravel when trying to return to "normality" from an incorrect diagnosis. Undoubtedly, the process of diagnosis is a crisis for a family in those instances where the diagnosis is recognized as a disorder with long-term, genetic, and progressive aspects with handicap. Although the moment of pronouncement of the diagnosis can be viewed as a communication of a fact based on recognized criteria, all the subtleties of uncertainty of the degree of the problem and the actual individual implications are very cloudy and still buried in the future, leaving the present with little clarity for the future. The great danger for the physician is to see solely the need to communicate a point of fact but not to recognize that the communication is

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