Medical Definition of Parentectomy

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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