The Ashley treatment

Excerpt from my newsletter:

Due to a disability she’s had from birth, 9-year-old Ashley lives permanently in an infant-like state, unable to hold her head up, roll over, or talk. Her parents and doctors have stunted her growth with hormones so she’d be easier to lift, removed her uterus so she won’t have periods, and removed her breast buds so she won’t suffer the future discomfort of large breasts. Activists are calling these measures unethical. What do you think?

When I first read this story, I was aghast. I was angry. How dare they?! What were they thinking?? Let’s just add more handicaps to an already dysfunctional mind shall we? Might as well take out her eyes so that she doesn’t have to cry. Take off her nose so that she doesn’t have to sneeze. Remove her mouth so she doesn’t have to spit. Yes, why don’t we??

After a bit of composure, I visited Ashley’s web site at Live Spaces and read some of the comments people posted in ParentCenter, and thought a little more. While I symphatize with this family, I also agree on a few of the posters’ feedback that this may frighteningly end up being a choice treatment for other families facing the same issue. Just goes to show how alarmingly advanced our medical treatment has become, to the point that we could manipulate lives like that. I’m not trying to put that statement negatively, because in a lot of ways it’s more positive than it is. Just look at endoscopic surgeries and implants, for example, and find out how many millions of lives these treatments were made better over the years. They’re manipulative treatments, but good treatments nonetheless.

So should I judge them by what they’ve chosen for Ashley? No, I don’t think so. Would I make the same choices as Ashley’s parents? Probably not. My end thought: I wish all the best to Ashley’s family and pray that they continue to be strong through their whole ordeal.

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Posted on 18 January, 2007 under Life in reality, Web traversing