Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Addiction and Babies (1 Letter): Letters to the Editor, NY Times

Dr. Andrew Tatarsky will be presenting on a panel at the full day training conference, Drugs, Pregnancy, and Parenting: What the Experts in Medicine, Social Work and the Law Have to Say, for legal and mental health professionals sponsored by National Advocates for Pregnant Women. He will make a plea for the need for a complex, individualized, multi-faceted understanding of the relationship between drug use and a parent's capacity to parent in making decisions about when children are best served by staying with drug-using parents and when they should be removed. He will also be discussing the implications of this understanding of substance use for our view of indications of positive change and appropriate treatment for substance-using parents.

Published: February 2, 2009
NY Times, Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

The Epidemic That Wasn’t” (Jan. 27) brings important attention to an area where media hype and junk science have provided the basis for counterproductive interventions into the lives of pregnant women and their families. The story, however, suggests that it was only in the 1990s that many women were prosecuted and jailed based on this medical misinformation. National Advocates for Pregnant Women has documented more than 100 arrests since 2000, many resulting in incarceration.

Many women who love their children cannot overcome an addiction, whether to cigarettes or an illegal drug in the short term of pregnancy. Junk science that exaggerates the risks should not provide the basis for transforming their health problems into crimes.

Lynn M. Paltrow

New York

The writer is executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women.
Science Times welcomes letters from readers. Those submitted for publication must include the writer’s name, address and telephone number. E-mail should be sent to
scitimes@nytimes.com. Send letters to Science Editor, The New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018.

No comments: