Should parents stop their very disabled children from growing up? Father sparks debate about treatment that could spread to UK

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Should parents stop their very disabled children from growing up? Father sparks debate about treatment that could spread to UK

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:55 am

Should parents stop their very disabled children from growing up? Father sparks debate about treatment that could spread to UK

At least a dozen families with severely disabled children have decided to put them through a controversial therapy to stop them growing into adults, according to reports.
Known as the 'Ashley treatment', it is named after a girl from Seattle who underwent a series of procedures between 2004 and 2006 to keep her in a child-like state.
Five years on her father is convinced the treatment has improved his daughter's life and says he knows of at least a dozen other parents who have followed a similar course.


Ashley, pictured on her parent's blog pillowangel.org, was given hormones to stunt her growth as well as a hysterectomy

However, disability rights campaigners say it is a violation of the disabled person's civil rights.
Ashley's father, who wishes to maintain the family's anonymity, told The Guardian: 'The Ashley treatment has made her far more likely to be comfortable, healthy and happy
'Given the limitations imposed by her medical condition, her life is as good as we can possibly make it.'

It is thought as many as 100 families from the U.S, Europe and beyond have carried out or are planning of carrying out similar medical therapies.
Ashley, now 15, has severe developmental disabilities and will always have an infant mental state. She cannot talk and must be fed by a tube but can respond to others by vocalising and smiling.

More...Mothers refusing to breastfeed because six-month target is too high and puts many off, say experts

As she approached puberty her parents became worried about how they would cope with caring for her. They decided to embark on a drastic series of 'growth attenuation' treatments that would stop this process while also limiting her size.
She underwent estrogen therapy that limited her height - by 2010 she measured 4ft 4", which is about a foot shorter than an average 13-year-old girl.
She also underwent a hysterectomy and had both breast buds removed at Seattle Children's hospital.
Ashley's parents argue that the treatment improved her quality of life and saved her from much discomfort, such as from menstrual cramps. It also meant it was easier for them to help and handle her.

However, critics said that the treatment breached Ashley's human rights and doctors had thought more about the parents' needs than their daughter's.
Curt Decker, director of The National Disability Rights Network in the U.S, said his group will publish a report in April that will call on US Congress to ban growth attenuation treatment for disabled children.
'Parents have rationalised that this is an OK thing to do but it treats people as though they have no worth and that's a slippery slope,' he told The Guardian.
Mr Decker believes thousands of families are exploring the Ashley treatment.
'This is a violation of the civil rights of individuals and should be prohibited,' he said.
However, Ashley's father said this would deprive severely disabled children leaving treatment available only to the 'wealthy and powerful.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2115904/Ashley-treatment-Should-parents-stop-disabled-children-growing-up.html#ixzz1pNGJrsCi

Perhaps we could have a grown up debate about this here, without the usual toddler tantrums.

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Re: Should parents stop their very disabled children from growing up? Father sparks debate about treatment that could spread to UK

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:58 am

I can't help feeling that those belating on about Human rights again give little consideration for the person more for the idea.



They seem wedded to philosop[hical ideals ratrher than try to empathise with the parties involved to make a more pragmatic decision.



Yes this procedure helps the carers so what. They love the person deeply and want to be able to care for them and keep them happy. A child is always happiest when secure and when loved and will not have the angst of grown up feelings were they wil have to face up to the realities of their condidtion.



On balance my view is oo the face of it it is a good idea.

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Re: Should parents stop their very disabled children from growing up? Father sparks debate about treatment that could spread to UK

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:08 pm

Good Afternoon. I have strong views in the sanctity of life and family ties. Every child conceived should have the opportunity to grow, develop and be loved, nurtured and encouraged to be the best person that the child can be. All children are different and have different abilities and aspirations. They in my opinion they are all entitled to develop to their full potential. No one has the right to deny any child that entitlement. Loving families will nurture each and every child no matter what. That is how it should be and I hope how it will always be.

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Re: Should parents stop their very disabled children from growing up? Father sparks debate about treatment that could spread to UK

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:29 pm

Drinky wrote:I can't help feeling that those belating on about Human rights again give little consideration for the person more for the idea.



They seem wedded to philosop[hical ideals ratrher than try to empathise with the parties involved to make a more pragmatic decision.



Yes this procedure helps the carers so what. They love the person deeply and want to be able to care for them and keep them happy. A child is always happiest when secure and when loved and will not have the angst of grown up feelings were they wil have to face up to the realities of their condidtion.



On balance my view is oo the face of it it is a good idea.
good idea my backside
its barbaric and selfish and a little scarey

Every child conceived should have the opportunity to grow, develop and be loved, nurtured and encouraged to be the best person that the child can be

well said fred

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