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Editor's Note
December 2018

Inappropriate Use of Medical Conditions as Metaphors

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • 2Editor, JAMA Pediatrics
JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(12):1200. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.4161

I accepted Dr Loper’s essay1 with the intention of spurring a discussion on how electronic health records may be adversely affecting the quality of patient-physician interactions. It spurred a discussion of something more important: the inappropriate use of medical conditions as metaphors. I was remiss in not appreciating how the use of autism as a metaphor in that context would be offensive to some readers. I have seen comments criticizing this remission and others acknowledging the intention of the article.2 My oversight has been a learning experience for me, Dr Loper, and I expect for many others.