Pillow Angel Ashley

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Pillow Angel Ashley
Michelle R. Porotesano
Bryant & Stratton College
MAAT111: Intro to Health Care
Professor Smulsky
June 9, 2012

Many parents would do anything for their children. But how far would some parents go just to benefit them in caring for their own child? In the Pillow Angel Ashley case the parents were ethically wrong in requesting her reproductive organs be removed. It was not only medically unnecessary, it was also against the law, and it was all done for the benefit of the parents.

A team of physicians aided Ashley’s parents in the process of doing all of her procedures. Their roles in this controversy were as enablers. The parents felt that because Ashley had brain damage they needed to stop her growth and menstrual cycle. Even though the procedures were controversial the parents were still seeking for a way to make it happen. The so-called “treatments” that were performed were breast bud removal to discontinue the growth of her breast, a hysterectomy to get rid of her menstrual cycle, and estrogen therapy to weaken her growth. (Peace, 2007, ¶5) The supporters for the disabled believe that the physicians will never comprehend the true value of their deeds. Dr. Douglas Diekema, who was the chairman of the ethics board of Seattle Children’s Hospital, stated that even he could not believe what the parents were asking he had to take in to consideration as to why they wanted the procedures done. (Gibbs, 2007, ¶4) The treatment was not even tested yet and Ashley was not in any danger if she did not get the treatment. So was the treatment really beneficial to Ashley or more for her parents?

For the sake of convenience, Ashley’s parents were willing to make an unethical request of doctors. They wanted the treatments for the sake of making it being easier for them to move her and the ability to continue to lift Ashley up for baths and being able to dress her. (Gibbs, 2007, ¶5) Ashley was only 6 years old when her parents decided to have...
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