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Am Fam Physician. 2004;69(6):1362

to the editor: I was taken aback when reading the Photo Quiz in the July 1, 2003 issue of American Family Physician,1 which featured a full-frontal nude picture of a 17-year-old woman with Prader-Willi syndrome. Several things about this bothered me, including referring to her as a “girl” (had she been male, would the reference have been to a 17-year-old boy?), describing her as “mentally retarded,” and picturing her entirely naked. Certainly, there is a place for photography such as this in the medical literature. However, in this instance, I was concerned about how a young woman with significant disabilities could have reasonably given consent for such a photograph.

editor's note: For questions of terminology, American Family Physician policy is to follow the standards of the American Medical Association Manual of Style: a Guide for Authors and Editors. According to the AMA Manual of Style, this person should have been described as a “teenager” or an “adolescent girl.”

Written consent was obtained from the patient's guardian for use of the photograph.

Email letter submissions to afplet@aafp.org. Letters should be fewer than 400 words and limited to six references, one table or figure, and three authors. Letters submitted for publication in AFP must not be submitted to any other publication. Letters may be edited to meet style and space requirements.

This series is coordinated by Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, deputy editor.

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