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  1. #1
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    Dec 2005
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    Parents Under Fire for Making Daughter Stay Child Forever

    Her name is Ashley X, and she is the little girl who will never grow up.

    Until New Year's Day, not even her first name was known. Ashley was a faceless case study, cited in a paper by two doctors at Seattle Children's Hospital as they outlined a treatment so radical that it brought with it allegations of "eugenics", of creating a 21st-century Frankenstein's monster, of maiming a child for the sake of convenience.

    The reason for the controversy is this: Three years ago, when Ashley began to display early signs of puberty, her parents instructed doctors to remove her uterus, appendix and still-forming breasts, then treat her with high doses of estrogen to stunt her growth.

    In other words, Ashley was sterilized and frozen in time, for ever to remain a child. She was only 6 years old.

    Ashley, the daughter of two professionals in the Seattle area, never had much hope of a normal life.


    *much more at link* http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,241279,00.html


    *also the parents own blog with pictures*

    http://ashleytreatment.spaces.live.com/

  2. #2
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    Jun 2006
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    I read about this this morning. At first I was really angry that the parents had done this but then after reading the father's blog I understood more about what Ashley would have to go through if she continued through puberty. I also spoke with someone I know who has a family member with cerebal palsy. Some of these same operations were done on this young lady (she's twenty now) and it certainly has helped her with her quality of life. It's also enabled her family to continue taking care of her (which in the majority of cases is so much better than being put in an institution).

  3. #3
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    Dec 2005
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    I was kinda angry too as into how I read this article. But figured I'd go to the parents own blog and read the whole story.

    I feel they're doing what's right for Ashley.

    They are getting alot of bad feedback on this though.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2004
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    Minnesota-land of loons
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    What doctor would follow these instructions? Obviously it should have been reported to Child Protection immediately. As well as the AMA. Are the parents and doc part of some cult advocating children being children forever or what? Seattle "prefessionals?" Professional what? Sick sick sick.


    Eve

  5. #5
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    Dec 2005
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    202
    Definetely read the parents blog..they break everything down as into what procedures and the benefits of each decision.

    Ashleys Treatment had to be approved, and there were 40 people involved with the decision of letting this go ahead. As these 40 people from the ethics committee also thought it was beneficial for this little girl as well.

    I think children services would probably have just put this little girl in some sort of facility.

    I praise these parents.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2004
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    Minnesota-land of loons
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    Forgive my ignorance! I was not aware of the reasons for this - I can't get blogs at work, I'm filtered. In fact, I couldn't even get the link for some reason.

    Eve

  7. #7
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    Jun 2006
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    Levittown, PA
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    I feel the same way most of you did: at first, I was outraged that someone would do this sort of thing to their child. Once I read everything though (including the 9000 word manifesto by the father at his blog), it started to make sense and I really do think it was a good decision.
    Please read up on the murder of Dr. David Cornbleet here: http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45720




  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    202
    She is a beautiful little girl.


    A little from the blog

    Our daughter Ashley had a normal birth, but her mental and motor faculties did not develop. Over the years, neurologists, geneticists, and other specialists conducted every known traditional and experimental test, but still could not determine a diagnosis or a cause. Doctor’s call her condition “static encephalopathy of unknown etiology”, which means an insult to the brain of unknown origin or cause, and one that will not improve.

    Now nine years old, Ashley cannot keep her head up, roll or change her sleeping position, hold a toy, or sit up by herself, let alone walk or talk. She is tube fed and depends on her caregivers in every way. We call her our “Pillow Angel” since she is so sweet and stays right where we place her—usually on a pillow.

    The chance of Ashley having significant improvement, such as being able to change her position in bed, let alone walk, is non-existent. She has been at the same level of cognitive and mental developmental ability since about three months of age.

    Faced with Ashley’s medical reality, as her deeply loving parents, we worked with her doctors to do all we could to provide Ashley with the best possible quality of life. The result is the “Ashley Treatment.”




    http://ashleytreatment.spaces.live.com/

  9. #9
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    Mar 2006
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    north carolina
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    I think Ashleys parents should be commended for thinking realistically about their daughters future. I think, after reading the blog, they made a wonderful decision for her. Im just grateful that ive never had to make a decision, like they had to make, with my kids.
    May god be with them and Ashley.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2005
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    Wow. This is incredible. We are just starting to look into a certain problem with my youngest that is sort of like this. She's 7 but thankfully not THAT far along or as incapcitated as Ashley.

    My husband and I have had to discuss what to do when she approaches puberty and child-bearing age. There are even signs of this starting earlier than typical.

    We have heard the stories of helpless children and adults being raped by teachers, therapists, nurses etc (no offense to most of those wonderful people!) and we certainly don't want our youngest to have to deal with a pregnancy as a result of that.

    There are many parents of disabled children that have to consider solutions that sound like rights are being taken away from that child. It's not a very comfortable place to be in, frankly.

    In reality, most parents are trying to give their child the best health possible along with some dignity, since they can't provide that for themselves.

    I think Dvorsky said it all with this statement at the end of the Fox article:
    "The estrogen treatment is not what is grotesque here. Rather, it is the prospect of having a full-grown and fertile woman endowed with the mind of a baby."


  11. #11
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    Jul 2005
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    what?! why is his even an issue at all?? bravo to these parents for using simple COMMON SENSE to make life easier for ashley, and for them! it is hard enough to have to be responsible for a special-needs child of this degree, for the rest of their lives, without having to worry about menstration, and all the other hassles of hormonal development!!! kudos to them for doing the right thing.. she's going to be a child forever anyway, more or less. might as well help her to continue to have a quality life.
    i wish this were done on ALL severely retarded people with no hope of normal development... it would make life much easier for them and for everyone who has to care for them.

    those of you who are angry at these people... hello, did you even READ the article or the blog??? can you please explain the benefits to me of NOT doing these surgeries??

  12. #12
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    Aug 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by reb

    those of you who are angry angry at these people... hello, did you even READ the article??? can you please explain the benefits to me of NOT doing these surgeries??

    Had you read all of the posts, you would see that even those who were angry at first, changed their minds after they read further.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2005
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    9,705
    There should be nothing but praise for these parents.
    Although Richie is nowhere near as incapacitated as this girl it is still a scarry thought that he is growing.
    He has tantrums like a toddler in a now 12 YO body.
    Medication to control his behavoir has numerous side effects and to even find a medication that works is like using him as a guinea pig.

    Exactly what I should do when he is older and larger is a daunting thought.
    Would a hormone that stunts his growth with no side effects be a safer option the then melee of drugs that Dr's try to use?
    It should be noted that no actual clinical trials have been done with these drugs to control behavoir in children and the effect they have on a disabled child with a nuorogical disorder is even more up in the air. Long term effects??? No one has a clue.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2005
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    Central Texas
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    When I read the thread title and the first post I thought what the h*ll did these people do to their own child?
    I read the blog, and it surely was the best thing for her parents to do. I've never heard of this being done before. A lot of thought and love was involved to make Ashley's life better.

  15. #15
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    Jul 2005
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    jean, you are right,, but just to clarify-- i was kind of referring to everyone who is angry at them in general, not just on this thread.

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