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A LOUDER VOICE FOR CHILDREN

Editors are pleased when authors use language precisely. It is not a question of pedantry but rather the knowledge that sloppy language frequently implies sloppy science. In her leading article, Elspeth Webb rightly ignores the ugly neologism “advocating” and, uses “advocacy” according to its true meaning.

It matters: as she points out, local authorities and voluntary agencies (and, dare we point out, not a few paediatricians) falsely define advocacy as enabling children to speak for themselves. Those of us who have given evidence in Court know well that advocates—whether for or against us—provide pleas and intercession rather than empowerment.

Webb enjoins paediatricians to encourage patients and families in self-advocacy, a quite different concept, and exhorts us to regain our traditional key role as advocates for the needs of children, which has become unfashionable in the decade of consumer …

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