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  #1  
Old 07-10-2003, 02:38 AM
Major Kong Major Kong is offline
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A parent who has lost a child -- word for

Is there a word for a parent who has lost a child? Are there different words for mothers and fathers?
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2003, 02:51 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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If by "lost a child" you mean "had a child die" then I have never heard of such a word. As a parent who had a baby die I expect I would have heard any such word at some time.
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Old 07-10-2003, 02:51 AM
Muad'Dib Muad'Dib is offline
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Sad.
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Old 07-10-2003, 02:54 AM
zoogirl zoogirl is offline
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I'd like to know that one myself. I was "between Motherhood" for a couple of years after our first son died and before the next one came along. I found it very hard to describe my status. If I said I was a mother, I then had to go through rather painfull explanations, but to deny motherhood meant to deny John's life.

Anyone have a good choice, if nothing already exists?
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Old 07-10-2003, 04:23 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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I don't know, but I suspect that there will be some sort of colloquial term in use amongst the medical profession; because of the way that the records are filed, it can be easy for a nurse/doctor to glance at them and see that a woman has given birth, but miss the fact that the child later died - which could lead to upsetting questions being asked about how the child is doing now.
My local health authority (and maybe others, I don't know) marks the patient's folder with a bright green sticker depicting an eye and a teardrop, warning the medical staff to double-check before asking. I would not be at all surprised to learn that there is some kind of term of quick and easy reference for such patients.
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Old 07-10-2003, 07:18 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mangetout
I don't know, but I suspect that there will be some sort of colloquial term in use amongst the medical profession; because of the way that the records are filed, it can be easy for a nurse/doctor to glance at them and see that a woman has given birth, but miss the fact that the child later died - which could lead to upsetting questions being asked about how the child is doing now.
My local health authority (and maybe others, I don't know) marks the patient's folder with a bright green sticker depicting an eye and a teardrop, warning the medical staff to double-check before asking. I would not be at all surprised to learn that there is some kind of term of quick and easy reference for such patients.
I've never had any of my chart folders tagged for that. In the U.S., such a symbol could be seen as an invasion of privacy, and instead of being asked questions by a relatively understanding provider, could be subjected to nosy-Nellie questions by everyone who sees the chart, which could include other patients who see the chart. Ditto for a special term. I have never heard of one, and it would be incredibly insensitive to have one, IMO.

That said, I have been asked how my older child is doing, but I am quick to point out that he died, as well as the cause and circumstances of his death. My history page is then updated, and the doctor and his staff know from that point that I only have one living child.

Robin
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Old 07-10-2003, 09:32 AM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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I can't imagine that there would be such a word; for most of human history, and most of the history of the English language, almost every parent lost a child or two, at least.
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Old 07-10-2003, 09:56 AM
toadspittle toadspittle is offline
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Quote:
Ditto for a special term. I have never heard of one, and it would be incredibly insensitive to have one, IMO.
I don't see why this should be insensitive--their are plenty of words for people who have suffered a loss:

orphan
widow
widower
divorcee
the bereaved

etc.

My guess as to WHY there is no such term is probably b/c of Nametag's point: it used to be pretty much the RULE throughout human history that every parent would lose at least one child. So no special term arose.
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Old 07-10-2003, 10:11 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is offline
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My comment about the sensitivity of such a word was made in light of Mangetout's post. Using a special term to categorize a particular group as a "quick and easy" reference term is what would make it insensitive. That I lost a child at all is irrelevant to all concerned except the doctors and nurses who take care of me. It's not the business of the front-desk staff or the others in the waiting room or hallway, and to have a chart flagged externally or being identified with a special term invites nosy comments, questions, and whispers from the curious.

In any event, I'm twice-divorced, and no one has yet to refer to me as a divorcee. My aunt lost her husband many years ago, and no one would think to refer to her as a widow. So these identifiers are becoming outmoded, at least in my observation.

Robin
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Old 07-10-2003, 11:33 AM
KGS KGS is offline
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How about "Naphro"? (Read it backwards.)
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2003, 07:03 PM
Dr_Paprika Dr_Paprika is offline
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I don't know of a medical word for this. Women on medical charts sometimes have mention of their GPAL score indicating number of pregnancies, preterm pregnancies, abortions (including miscarriages) and living children.
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2003, 04:47 PM
moriah moriah is offline
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Bereaved parent/mother/father.
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