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Author Topic: This is sick and morally ......
Luke Skywalker
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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2007 16:07      Profile for Luke Skywalker     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070104/ap_on_re_us/stunted_daughter

This couple is (chemically) stunting the growth of their mentally and physically disabled daughter to keep her at a "manageable" size. They say it will allow her to be better cared for at home.

Having personal experience on this (from their side) this is horrible. I had a friend whos brother was very disabled mentally, so Ive seen this. Ive also worked when I was a bit younger at a home for people like this thats near my house. If these parents are unable to properly care for her on their own (which is the way it sounds), then there are wonderful programs for this kid.

On a side note, me and another friend were discussing something else like this (anyone from NC will be familiar with this probably). The state recently pretty much scrapped the entire mental health/care program. They have had a couple regional areas take over temporarly, but expect the indiviual counties themselves to establish their own programs. Only problem is, very few counties have even the barest roots of a program, and even then, most of them dont have the resources to. Which means they will be going under the services of the local police, whom while good with criminals, normally (and I know there are exceptions to this) definatly arent trained to handle said cases/situations/people, medically mentally or physically (physically at least non-hazardous to both the person and the officer).

</rant>

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Use the Force, Luke.

Posts: 406 | From: The Line Between Time and Space | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
dragon34
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Icon 1 posted January 05, 2007 10:48      Profile for dragon34     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
http://ashleytreatment.spaces.live.com/

The above is the blog written by her parents.

Really, in this case, I think this makes complete sense.
She is incapable of reproducing voluntarily, and in fact, even of sitting up on her own, so there is no reason for her to have to deal with painful and possibly traumatic periods. She is incapable of understanding what would be occurring there and cramps freaking HURT. You can't explain that to an infant. Finding care for someone who is that helpless is *expensive*. doubly so if they are adult size, and it is extremely unlikely insurance will cover it effectively. The US national health plan is "Don't get sick".

There is no reason to invite abuse by forcing an infant mind into an adult body, should a non-family member ever be required to care for her, and also invite the risk of breast cancer if it runs in her family. Large breasts can be uncomfortable, and I know a couple of people who have had reduction surgery done to reduce back pain. One of them may have died of breast cancer had she not had the reduction, as she may never have noticed the small lump otherwise. There is no reason for someone who is developmentally an infant to have breasts, especially if they are likely to be uncomfortable when they have no way of communicating their discomfort.

Having the appendix removed is a no brainer. It seems as though they really are doing everything to keep her quality of life as high as they can.

There is no way this should be done to anyone who is not as, or similarly drastically developmentally disabled, but I think we have to trust doctors to make that choice.

Posts: 146 | From: Central PA | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted January 05, 2007 12:41      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Luke Skywalker:
If these parents are unable to properly care for her on their own...

When I first read this story, my opinion was the complete opposite to yours. And it still is.

Everything that was done was to help the girl have a better standard of living. Not the parents, they sound like they would do everything in their power to help her. And this is the best thing they could do.

The main point people seem to be objecting to is removing the breasts and uterus. It is standard practice to give a severely disabled girl contraceptives for two reasons: firstly to avoid periods, and secondly in case the poor girl is taken advantage of. In this case, removing the uterus takes care of the first point, and removing the breasts two doesn't get rid of but at least severely reduces the risk of the second (large breasts run in the girls family, and there are guys out there who would see a girl who can't say no or even stop them with big breasts and wouldn't even stop to think before having their wicked way. At least now there's one less thing to attract their attention.) And now two of the most common female cancers are unlikely to propagate due to the bits they reside in being removed. She ain't ever going to use them, so it makes sense for them to go.

quote:
Originally posted by Luke Skywalker:
On a side note, me and another friend were discussing something else like this (anyone from NC will be familiar with this probably). The state recently pretty much scrapped the entire mental health/care program.

I hear your pain on that front. A few months ago my home county suffered a major cut to mental health care, including the loss of the very successful Young Persons' Service. In a city with such a high prevalence of mental health problems around in 18-25 year old, this was a ridiculous move. But nothing could be done to stop the closure.

So what now? The already overstretched mental health wing at the local hospital is being put under pressure, and has nowhere to refer young people to. So everyone of all ages is losing out. You can't see a pdoc for love nor money. More people are being admitted to A&E with suicide attempts. I would bet that people have died because of this system. A

The funniest bit is, it is most likely costing the NHS far more to keep those who struggle on with the mental health services in Cambridge in waiting lists and on medication when the CBT the YPS offered would have been far more cost effective. If you want CBT? You have to go private [Frown]

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted January 05, 2007 13:40      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've heard of this case before, but for some reason it seems to be getting a lot of attention in the last couple of days.

This is a girl who in a very real sense will never grow up...even before the treatments. This isn't a condition where she could someday have something resembling a normal life. She will always need to be cared for. And I think that it is probably overwhelmingly better for her to be cared for at home than to be cared for in an institution where she would not be able to get the individulaized treatment she can get from relatives, and where the people wouldn't love her they would just be doing a job.

Someone in her condition would not understand what was happening with puberty or menstruation. Caring for someone who is menstruating but cannot move themselves (and will never be able to) is difficult at best. Someone in her condition cannot willingly reproduce.

I obviously don't think that this course of treatment is right for dealing with all severely disabled children, but this seems like it was the right choice for this family.

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
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Serenak

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Icon 1 posted January 05, 2007 14:21      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am only sketchily in touch with this one on the "news" level but I have friends with a serioulsy handicapped child...

Every case is different and has to be treated individually but from what I have read of this case I have to say that I have not seen any condemning evidence to stop what they are doing/want to do...

If the girl is seriously as imparied as I am led to belive and will never live anything near an adult life, and will basically be a small child forever (mentally) and has such serious physical handicaps that puberty, menstruation, breast development, etc are only going to add to the misery for all concerned I cannot see that it is not actually in the best interests of that child to never have to deal with such things..

The danger is of course like so many things in the precedents it might set... no one wants to see "persons of disadvantage" being routinely chemically or surgically "Darwined" just becuase it suits others to do so...

But this issue is like abortion and euthanasia... a dreadful quagmire of ethical, moral and religious "grey areas"

Dying of cancer? But surely you should soldier on to the bitter end? (or maybe for you 9 months of good life beats 24 of feeling sick on chemo? Who should say?)

Biggest problem here is of course the object of discussion cannot say... so who should call for her? Doctors, Social Workers, Parents, Family members?...)

Personally - and based only on the outlines I /have/ read so far I cannot see that the call is wrong. YMMV

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"So if you want my address - it's No. 1 at the end of the bar, where I sit with the broken angels, clutching at straws and nursing my scars..."

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted January 06, 2007 05:42      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really don't know what to think about this, as it would depend on knowing in much greater depth than I do, the details of this case. What does strike me as odd however, is that the parents and doctors could decide on taking this course of action without any legal constraints. Common sense suggests that this is something that should have gone before a court before they were allowed to proceed, to try to determine what would be in Ashley's best interests.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted January 06, 2007 06:25      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Common sense suggests that this is something that should have gone before a court before they were allowed to proceed, to try to determine what would be in Ashley's best interests.

Why need it go to a court? The surgery was done to improve Ashley's quality of life. In that respect it is no different to surgery on a hernia, or even prescribing an old woman a support stocking for her varicose vein. Should every medical decision go before a court? In fact, the surgery was almost prophylactic in that it was a medical intervention to benefit a girl who's quality of life would have got worse had they not gone for it.
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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 06, 2007 06:36      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems to me the best arguement against the parents is that this procedure was done to help the parents and not the girl. As this does not seem to be the case I wish the parents all the best.


The problem becomes now where to draw the line. The reaction from this procedure comes from the fact that it could be abused. Parents could do this to thier children for thier own twisted reasons. I would support a review board of doctors to be ceated to review applicants to have this surgery done. I think this is nessesary so that a parent would not doctor shop to find a doctor to do this to thier child.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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