The Ashley Treatment
Ashley is a nine-year-old girl with the mental age of a three-month-old. Her condition means she will never walk, talk or even roll over. She is totally helpless without the devotion and care of her parents. In 2004 her parents decided to medically intervene with puberty. Along with hormone doses to limit her growth, Ashley's parents also decided on surgery to block breast growth and had her uterus and appendix removed. I am going to give the arguments for and against this controversial matter. One of Ashley's parent's main motives is to keep their daughter child-sized' so she stays light enough to easily carry around. They will then be able to take her on family outings and generally be able to spend more time with their child while causing minimal difficulty for them and the people around them. On the other hand it is also argued that the decision to go ahead with these treatments is simply for convenience on the parent's part and not for the benefit of Ashley. Keeping her small will also increase her standards of life as if she was allowed to develop to her full size then she would have to stay in bed for most of her life causing other problems like bed sores and increased risk of obesity and related diseases. It could also be argued that Ashley's treatment is a breach of her human rights. She has the right to grow as every other human being does. Growth is a natural process not a disease. All children grow even those with disabilities and as she cannot say no to the treatment it is left to others to decide for her. Ashley's parents also worry that Ashley will become the victim of sexual abuse by a carer she may have and they think that removing her uterus will remove any possibility that their daughter would become pregnant in this way. Some people believe that Ashley's parent's decision was a massive betrayal on their part. The people who she should trust the most have treated her as less than human, removing her dignity. On...
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