Mental Health: How Will the Boy Cope?

A TIME medical columnist explains that Elian's psychological scars may not surface for years

In the lengthy tug-of-war over Elian Gonzalez, I have found myself asking a simple question: Have we forgotten the child? After the federal action last weekend in Miami, there is legitimate concern about the effect the forced removal at the end of a 9-mm MP5 submachine gun will have on his psychological well-being.

Not even the most precocious six-year-old could leave a home full of family and friends, watch his mother swallowed by the ocean and then be pulled again from family without suffering mental anguish. The immediate, daunting task for experts is to figure out just how much he has...

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