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Monday, October 08, 2007

Ashley Treatment Goes Abroad

Emma does a great job at summing up the horribleness of this. NPR also reported on this yesterday. Emma posts the UK article here. I totally agree with Emma's thoughts on this only to add that this is also a feminist issue. I feel strongly about this being the mother of a nonverbal girl with Cerebral Palsy. I had period pains too when I was young - really really bad ones. And you know what, I got a hot water bottle and Tylenol but was allowed to keep my uterus. I haven't heard of any growth attenuation "interventions" being performed on the boys (which would be equally awful). If this were not a feminist issue I think you would be hearing about that too as men are on average larger than women in terms of weight as an issue for the seemingly allmighty care-giver / management paradigm.

Part of me was also very saddened to see that doctors in the UK sanctioned this. I always think of the UK as being so far ahead in social issues. Maybe it's because they are a much older country than the US. Or maybe it's because when we go there we see people protesting in the streets not to irradiate their food and for more organics. People seem so conscious there. I am now disabused of this abberration. What were those doctors thinking? I hate the precedent this is setting. Is there no safe place for the nonverbal PERSON with Cerebral Palsy?

When did a person who can't speak for themselves suddenly become a nonperson whose organs are up for grabs? Didn't Hitler round up a good many disabled people and let his mad scientists perform experiments and eugenics / sterilization on them? How is this any different? Did no one read Dr. Zeus? " A person is a person, no matter how small" or no matter how different for crying out loud! Why isn't this a given people?!

It's an incredibly awful, misguided, misdirected answer to huge problem of lack of support, medical equipment, etc. for people with gross motor issues and their carers.

It's just so wrong. There has to be a better answer than this. What kind of world is this creating?

Slam me if you will. But have a think about how you would feel if you were trapped in a body and had someone make this decision for you.