AAP News, American Academy of Pediatrics, July, 2000
About Elian: Look before leaping
Enrique J. Cantón, M.D.,FAAP,
Coral Gables, Fl
As a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I must object very
strongly to declarations made publicly by another member of the Academy
about the Cuban rafter Elián González. A few days before the
much-publicized raid, this pediatrician stated: "Elián González is now
in a state of imminent danger to his physical and emotional well-being
in a home that I consider to be psychologically abusive." The incredible
fact is that this doctor never examined the child, never visited Elián's
home in Miami, and used this statement for purely political reasons.
This doctor was not only chair of one of the work groups of the
President's Health Care Task Force, but also an outspoken political
supporter of the first lady's policies for socialized national health
While staying in Miami, Elián was being seen by a team of
psychologists and a psychiatrist, who had stated that Elián was so well
adjusted to his family in Miami because of the loving and caring home
environment. This information was totally neglected by the media.
A press release from the Academy dated April 21, 2000, states:
"...the Academy recommends that pediatric health professionals carefully
evaluate Elián's health and developmental needs. This should include a
comprehensive pediatric assesment..."
Making a diagnosis without even examining the patient is not only bad
medicine but also must be condemned.