Contact Sports: A Case of Child Abuse?

youth hockey

Courtesy jayaruu / morgueFile

The Canadian Medical Association has just weighed in on the subject of concussions sustained by young athletes playing contact sports and has some pretty shockingly strong words. Emile Therien, former president of the Canada Safety Council, calls hockey “child abuse” due to Hockey Canada’s failure to implement strict anti-concussion measures.

Of course, hockey is the unofficial national sport of our northern neighbor, and the CMA was taking aim specifically at it. But, any contact sport carries a serious threat, as pointed out in an editorial by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He cites the CMA’s report about concussions among youths playing hockey and clearly feels for parents who must make a difficult choice: allow their children to be part of a team that will encourage good virtues or expose them to the dangers of injuries that could leave them with damaged brains later in life.

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