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The "Ashley Treatment"
05-01-2007, 10:03 AM
Post: #1
The "Ashley Treatment"

The "Ashley Treatment" is the name the parents of litle nine year old girl named Ashley have given to various medical procedures carried out on the child who has the mind of a 3 month old baby and cannot walk or talk. Some of these procedures included, the removal of her breast buds, a hysterectomy, and the giving of hormones to supress her growth. All these procedures will mean Ashley will never develop into a full grown woman but will remain as a she is now a nine year old child.
Her parents say they have had the procedures carried out because having thier daughter remain a child rather growing into a woman will mean they can care for her better. She will never become to heavy to lift and move about, and will never suffer the pain and discomfort of period pains. Her smaller size willmake it easier to include her in typical family life.
More here.... http://ashleytreatment.spaces.live.com/blog/

Typically this story as caused a lot differing views. Some say the parents have done the right thing, other that it smacks of eugenics, that the parents are playing god. Whats your view......
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05-01-2007, 01:22 PM
Post: #2
The "Ashley Treatment"
Its a difficult one this. My first reaction was that it was wrong, because I'd for got the impresserion from your post that the parents were interfering with the childs development purely to make it easier for them , but from reading the link it appears that they have done this to make things more comfortable for the child. The fact that her smaller size will make caring for her easier for them would appear to be just an added bonus.

I don't like the idea of tinkering about with a persons development though, no matter what the reasons. This is the first case of its kind - there is no precedent to show exactly how the lack of physical development will effect Ashley as she grows older, even if she doesn't mature mentally. But, its obvious that these parents do really love their child and I do think they have taken these drastic measures in an effort to act in the child best interests, and that fact makes it difficult to condemn them.

One thing I would be interested to know though is what Ashley's life expectancy is? The article says that "most people with Ashley's disabilities don't live beyond a very young age", but then goes on the say that "the fact that Ashley is maturing normally makes her case unique". There is no mention of what Ashley's actual life span is expected to be. I'd be very uncomfortable with this if she was likely to outlive her parents.
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05-01-2007, 02:30 PM
Post: #3
The "Ashley Treatment"
I think it's wrong to do that to a person. I know she has the mind of a 3 month old and couldn't make the decision herself but the thought of having all that done to her makes me feel sick. A human body isn't meant to be tinkered around like that just so her parents can look after her more easily. If i were in that situation I wouldn't do it or want to have it done on me.
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05-01-2007, 03:23 PM
Post: #4
The "Ashley Treatment"
Oooh, difficult one - can't imagine what it must be like to be a parent of severely disabled child.

I am torn with this one but the whole procedure just seems rather drastic.

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06-01-2007, 03:37 AM
Post: #5
The "Ashley Treatment"
I'm very torn as well. When I was growing up I had a friend with a sister (older) that had Down's Syndrome. The girl was very high functioning, but the mother was a bitch, and when the girl got her period and was not quite as 'careful' about dealing with her feminine products and her soiled clothes and stuff, the mother through a fit and really railed on this poor girl. Well, she had the girl given a hysterectomy at the age of 13!! All b/c she said she wouldn't always be around (the mom) and what if the girl got pregnant and she couldn't take care of her monthly 'duties' as it was. That has stuck with me and was the first thing I thought about reading the post and article. I know there have been a Down Syndrome man and woman to marry here in America and there was a big debate, but they live in an assisted type house and they are very happy and have jobs and manage their business with very little intervention. They are 'monitored' and I'm sure people have to get them places, etc. But sometimes it's hard to say what is right or wrong unless you are in that situation. I'm all for the parents who really do go the extra mile and don't just shut their child away in an institution, but if they are better cared for in a facility, it's a call I hope I nor my children have to make.

I guess I'm Cornish...:unsure:
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06-01-2007, 07:25 AM
Post: #6
The "Ashley Treatment"
That's really well put MSgirl. Exactly how I feel.
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06-01-2007, 01:35 PM
Post: #7
The "Ashley Treatment"
Oooo that's harsh - who would do that to their own kid? she sounds really selfish - i would feel awful about doing that.
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06-01-2007, 01:47 PM
Post: #8
The "Ashley Treatment"
I have a cousin, who is mentally retarded to the age of 4. My aunt and uncle opted for her to have a hysterectomy when she was a child, as there is no way that she would have dealt with it. I don't think it's just about making it easier for the parents, how do you explain to a person with a mentality of four years old, what periods are, what to do, and why they are bleeding profusely? And unfortunately, there are sick people who will abuse these people sexually. How would you deal with a pregnancy with someone of that mentality? Being so close to the situation, I can see they made the right decision for her. I don't see how it could affect her adversely.

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06-01-2007, 05:57 PM
Post: #9
The "Ashley Treatment"
I think that unless you are in the situation of having to care for someone that disabled, you are in no position to judge. It would be appalling to do it to a healthy child who is expected to mature normally, but in we are talking here about people who will never mature (mentally) beyond childhood.

Would anyone want a child of 3 or 4 to have periods, start growing breasts or perhaps get pregnant? Because effectively, that is the equivalent of what would happen to Ashley if her parents didn't take this action.

The one thing though that I am uncertain about is the whole thing about keeping her small by giving her hormones to prevent growth. I'm not I understand how that benefits anyone apart from the carers.
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06-01-2007, 08:18 PM
Post: #10
The "Ashley Treatment"
I suppose it means as her parents age, they will still be able to pick her up and give her a hug, which might be important for her?

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