Do DVDs make babies smarter? Do parents believe all the hype
around Baby Mozart or Baby Einstein? Should pediatricians care? Is
this a bioethics issue?
We think that there are some interesting issues in the
development and marketing of enhancement DVDs. They are not a drug
or medical device, but their purpose is to alter the brain
development of babies, to stimulate neuronal connections, and to
increase intelligence. If a doctor offered such a treatment, it
would be fair to ask, "What are the risks and benefits?" The
question is equally valid, even though the treatments are offered
directly to consumers.
We review the history of the controversy, the data on the
efficacy of such DVDs, and offer some advice for pediatricians who
might be asked about such matters.