The Medicated Child [home page]

press reaction

Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

"... 'The Medicated Child,' revisits territory 'Frontline' first examined in 2001, raising some familiar warning flags and some new ones. But it's not a knee-jerk treatment. As the program points out, there are pros as well as cons to the increased use of prescription drugs on children. ...

"The obligatory children flit through the program, possibly to detrimental effect. We mostly see well-behaved youngsters doing what children do; in other words, the 'after' picture. Anyone who has not experienced a truly troubled child 'before' -- before the parents sought the help that medications can bring -- may think the parents of the ones seen here guilty of needlessly drugging their youngsters. But as with most aspects of this issue, things are rarely that simple."


Brendan Bernhard, The New York Sun

"... As is so often the case with this documentary series, its subject ... is worthy and honorable and of more than passing interest. Yet the overall tone is so tediously neutral that it's enough, to quote Raymond Chandler, to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window. ...

"The Medicated Child" isn't a bad program, or an uninformative one; it's just a bit small-minded, ahistorical, and unimaginative. There are good moments, however. ..."


Ted Mahar, The Oregonian

"... Writer/producer Marcela Gaviria and co-producer Will Cohen portray a growing medical establishment that is grappling with crises in the lives of children while establishing its own boundaries, protocols and body of certain knowledge. ...

"'Child' reveals a world of paradox, contradiction and anecdotes that could bolster almost any viewpoint. ...

"'Child' is far from an anti-drug diatribe. ... What Gaviria and Cohen stress is that suddenly (in terms of establishing protocols) drugs are becoming integral to the lives of grade-schoolers and preschoolers -- in numbers growing exponentially. How will this affect their later life -- their teens, their early working years and so on? ... "


Heather Havrilesky, Salon.Com

"Frontline's 'The Medicated Child' ... is about as harrowing a look at the burgeoning use of drugs to treat psychological conditions in children as you can imagine. ..."

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posted january 8, 2008

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