To the Editor Kudos to Racine for calling the pediatric community to consider its role in a social justice framework.1 His call should extend to all of us in the pediatric research community as well. Further, I propose that it is even more critical where mental health treatment of the poor may result in overtreatment. Applying John Rawls’ ethical decision model to assure a just mental health treatment decision means forming a decision without knowing whether the child is poor and socially deprived or well off in a socially privileged environment or whether the caregiver is a foster parent or the pediatrician’s or researcher’s daughter. Most critically, a just decision may depend on the prescriber’s greater proportional responsibility for a continually evolving awareness of the strengths and limitations of the pediatric pharmacologic and treatment knowledge base as treatments are used over time.
Zito JM. Extending the Social Justice Call to Treatment Outcomes. JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(9):913. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.1903
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