The Dex Diaries


The Dex Diaries constitutes a series of short essays unpacking the story of prenatal dexamethasone for congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The series is edited by Alice Dreger, PhD, who has cross-posted these at her Psychology Today blog. The Dex Diaries allows the group of us writing the entries to present, to a general audience, more of the findings and the thinking of those of us who have been working on this project for nearly three years.

Part 1: Changed in the Womb, by Kiira Triea

One woman’s story of what it was like to have her life course forever changed by a medically-sanctioned prenatal drug exposure. Read more.

Part 2: Why We Called the Feds, by Alice Dreger

Why 32 scholars came together and took a radical path to try to protect pregnant women . . . and their doctors. Read more.

Part 3: What the Obstetricians Didn’t Know, by Alice Dreger

How the obstetricians prescribing the fetal-engineering intervention appear to have been unjustly hung out to dry, including by the FDA. Read more.

Part 4: A Perpetual Motion Machine of NIH Funding? by Aron Sousa

Perpetual motion machines are not actually possible -- unless you’re perpetually inadequately studying your own subjects. Read more.

Part 5: Questions I Didn’t Ask, by Ellen K. Feder

What were the parents thinking? Ellen Feder draws on her research and her own experiences with premature babies in an effort to answer that question. Read more.

Part 6: The AJOB Cluster, by Alice Dreger

What roles did the American Journal of Bioethics play in the dex controversy? So many. Read more.

Part 7: How to Be a Bioethicist, by Alice Dreger

Three rules I’ve learned via the way “bioethicists” have handled prenatal dexamethasone for CAH: (1) Never name names. (2) Screw ethical principles. (3) Bury the money. Read more.

Part 8: DES Lessons Not Learned, by Fran Howell

The Executive Director of DES Action (herself a “DES Daughter”) speaks out about how the lessons learned from DES haven’t informed the use of prenatal dexamethasone for congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Read more.

Part 9: The Real Silent Majority, by Anne Tamar-Mattis

The Executive Director of Advocates for Informed Choice explains who the real “silent majority” has been in this story. Read more.

Part 10: Taking It Personally, by Alice Dreger

Why did some people -- people who seemed to have no personal stake in the matter -- take the dex fiasco personally? Read more.