Medicine: Needless Child Doctoring

Most of the 3,000 U.S. physicians who gathered in Miami last week for the A.M.A.'s annual clinical meetings got their fill of advice on what to do for a variety of ailments. But the most refreshing bit of advice urged less instead of more doctoring. Many physicians, complained Dr. Robert Barrett Lawson, treat children, or even operate on them, when they really need no treatment at all.

Many current medical practices, suggested Dr. Lawson, head of the pediatrics department in the University of Miami's burgeoning, two-year-old School of Medicine, are as obsolete and uncalled-for as the "purging, puking and bleeding" which were...

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