This article argues for a sociologically grounded theoretical orientation for the study of selected health phenomena. Erving Goffman's theory of stigma provides a framework for better understanding the social dimension of the lives of disabled children and their families. First, the principal tenets of this theory are reviewed. Then, the findings from a study of the moral experience of families with children requiring mechanical ventilation at home are re-examined in light of Goffman's Stigma. This analysis highlights how a sociological framework can help advance our understanding of medical problems as social problems and shed light on socialization processes that can help resolve the discrediting, isolation and distress lived by disabled children and their families.