The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 23, Issue 1, Spring 2023

Joseph O’Neil, Derryl Miller
Pages 71-82

Growth-Attenuation Therapy for Children with Profound Cognitive and Physical Disabilities

The use of growth attenuation therapy (GAT) is becoming more common in order to enable a family to care for a child with profound cognitive and physical disabilities (PCPD) as they age into adulthood. The first published study on the use of GAT was done with the family of a six-year-old girl with PCPD by Daniel Gunther and Douglas Diekema in Pediatrics in 2006. The ethical application of GAT generated considerable discussion on the use among children with PCPD in the medical and ethics communities. This paper discusses the use of GAT for children with profound cognitive and physical disabilities from a Catholic bioethics perspective.