Definition of Parentectomy

Parentectomy: A slang term meaning removal of a parent (or both parents) from the child. It is of relevance to the hospitalization of children. Dr. M. Murray Peshkin (1892-1990), the medical director of the Children's Asthma Research Institute and Hospital in Denver from 1940 to 1959, noticed that some of his most severe asthma patients improved markedly as soon as they were removed from their homes and hospitalized -- before their treatments had had a chance to work. Peshkin came to advocate parentectomy, a change in environment for severe asthmatic children who had not improved with other treatments. He attributed parentectomy's success both to removal of the child from allergens in their homes and from the psychological conflicts they might have had with their parents.

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