Mother’s Little Helper: Doctor Faces Charges After Helping Son Bulk Up With Hormones

In England, Dr. Rehab Al-Jumaily faced a common problem of a parent with a child: bullies. However, rather than the usual calls to parents or teachers, Al-Jumaily decided a more chemical approach: she helped her son bulk up with growth hormones.

Al-Jumaily now may lose her practice over the violations.

Al-Jumaily, 51, explained that (since she is only 5 feet tall), she was afraid that her 13-year-old would be a shrimp and get pushed around — particularly after a bullying incident. Her daughter is only 4ft 10in.

However, at 5ft 2in, the boy was six inches over the normal threshold for hormone treatment and actually half an inch above the average height for his age.

To make maters worse, Al-Jumaily is accused of using fake names and concealing the treatments.

For the full story, click here.

4 thoughts on “Mother’s Little Helper: Doctor Faces Charges After Helping Son Bulk Up With Hormones”

  1. puzzling,

    Again, I think you make a number of thoughtful, important points. I appreciate what you wrote.


  2. Jill,

    I agree with both of your points, especially with the idea that parental motives are often deeply rooted in the parent’s perceived deficits in their own achievement or status. This common pattern of parents living vicariously through their kids changes the role of parent from one of mentor and advocate to situations where the child is nothing more than a tool for the therapy and redemption of the parent.

    Looking at this more broadly, when I think about things that parents do that I believe often mistreat and injure children, I question those things that society readily accepts first. Leading among these is the indoctrination of very young children into religious myths and belief systems that fundamentally compromise the child’s ability to question and learn at the stage in their life when these tools are needed most. Other manifestations of religious tradition often result in acts far more barbaric than administration of the HGH we’re discussing here. The routine and needless mutilation of boys by circumcision in the United States and Middle East is a good example.

    If athletes who take things like steroids, amphetamines, or Epogen are banned from the Olympic Games out of the concept of parity and fairness, should children who have previously benefitted in their physical development from HGH be allowed to compete? Is any ban fair if they “needed” this benefit according to some height chart?

    Advances in science are a steady challenge to those who proclaim that the purity and equity of nature is a virtue, especially when they are given the chance to the advantages that science has to offer themselves.

  3. puzzling,

    I think you make many good points. As far as any drug or proceedure is concerned: 1. I hope it isn’t given without looking at excellent research to see what effects it has on a growing human body. That criteria should apply to steroids and any other drug/proceedure. 2. More importantly, I would hope that parents would take a look at the whole of their child’s situation. So many children are bashed over the head with being the “best” (whatever that means). If a parent is operating out of this social prejudice they need to step back, examine what they’re doing and work on themselves. Loving support for who a child really is instead of imposing what you want them to be would go a long way towards negating the necessity for above, including the playing of unnecessarily dangerous sports.

  4. Let me first say that I don’t agree with the fraudulent methods used by Al-Jumaily, although I’m sure that the NHS state system for rationing care and medication creates behavior like this all the time.

    Leaving aside who administered the HGH and how it was acquired, can’t the psychological well being of the teenager have any bearing on the appropriateness of the treatment? What was the harm to this teenager?

    If a psychoactive drug were available to boost confidence, would this also be unacceptable?

    If this height advantage could have been achieved by surgery, would it have been criticized?

    If there were a “fat vaccine”, would that be unethical if used on adolescents?

    Is the use of hormones for contraception by teenagers unethical?

    Why is society so willing to give children cognitive advantages that science can provide (like Ritalin), but not physical ones?

    I would venture to guess that many more kids are permanently harmed when allowed to play football and hockey than have ever been harmed by HGH. Why is the administration of this hormone so outrageous, even if his final height may have been “normal”?

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