Friday, January 05, 2007

"Ashley's smaller and lighter size makes it more possible to include her in the typical family life..."

In a case fraught with ethical questions, the parents of a severely mentally and physically disabled child have stunted her growth to keep their little "pillow angel" a manageable and more portable size.

The uterus and breast tissue of the bedridden 9-year-old girl were removed at a Seattle hospital, and she received large doses of hormones to halt her growth. She is now 4-foot-5; her parents say she would otherwise probably reach a normal 5-foot 6.

The case has captured attention nationwide and abroad via the Internet, with some decrying the parents' actions as perverse and akin to eugenics. Some ethicists question the parents' claim that the drastic treatment will benefit their daughter and allow them to continue caring for her at home. (AP via CNN)

As medicine and technology progress, I expect many more ethically murky situations like this --and laws attempting to address them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.