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Normal at Any Cost Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry's Quest to Manipulate Height

ISBN-10: 1585426830
ISBN-13: 9781585426836
Edition: 2009
List price: $26.95
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Description: A fascinating story of medical experimentation, parental love, and the extreme measures taken to make children fit within the norm. Most people rarely think about their height beyond a little wishing and hoping. But for the parents of children who  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 3/19/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 416
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

A fascinating story of medical experimentation, parental love, and the extreme measures taken to make children fit within the norm. Most people rarely think about their height beyond a little wishing and hoping. But for the parents of children who are ridiculed by their peers for being extraordinarily tall or extraordinarily short, height can cause great anguish. For decades, the medical establishment has responded to these worries by prescribing controversial treatments and therapies for children who fall outside of the normal height range. While some have benefited, many have suffered from devastating side effects. In this riveting book, Susan Cohen and Christine Cosgrove provide a voice for the parents, doctors, scientists, and pharmaceutical companies involved in these experimental treatments. They also tell the story of the boys and girls themselves, many of them now grown, who were subjected to a wide range of non-FDA-approved medical procedures. These treatments which consisted of extreme doses of estrogen, pituitary glands taken from both animals and human cadavers, and testosterone injectionsoften had disastrous side effects. Who is to say how tall is too tall, and how short is too short? For many of the individuals represented in this book, the answers have been clearand they are grateful to the medical industry for improving upon nature. For others, left in the wake of this same science, the answers are fueled by tragic regret. The authors explore the dueling motives behind these procedures with parents desperate to help their children fit in and doctors and scientists hungry for scientific breakthroughs. Combining extensive research and in-depth interviews, Normal at Any Costis the first book to place a human face on this complex and ethically charged medical history.

Susan Cohen is a social historian with a special interest in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She was awarded a PhD for her work on the campaigner for women's rights, Eleanor Rathbone, and she is an Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute at Southampton University. Her book on Eleanor Rathbone and the Refugees will be published in 2009.

A recipient of the Science in Society Award from the National Association of Science Writers, SUSAN COHENhas written extensively on bioethical issues. CHRISTINE COSGROVEis a medical journalist whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines around the country. A frequent contributor to WebMD, she was treated with DES (a growth-stunting drug) as a child and now stands five feet eleven inches.

Introduction
drug turns young amazons into beauties
"Tallness Can Be a Real Handicap for a Girl"
Playing God with Hormones
Two Girls, Two Continents
helping the dwarfed children
"A Gland Lost Is a Gland Wasted"
"No Patient Seems to Have Caught Anything"
"Soon. Very Soon..."
to market, to market...
"Only Genentech Is Not in Mourning"
Dear Parent...
"Never Before in the History of Medicine"
reckonings
Absence of Evidence Is Not Evidence of Absence
Friendly Fire
$35,000 an inch-and growing
A Disease Is Born
Now What?
Conclusion: A New Normal?
Epilogue
Acknowledgments
Glossary
Notes
Index

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