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January 05, 2007


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I was also disturbed by this story. On the one hand, the parents' arguments are solid; there might be less pain and misery for Ashly as she grows older, and certainly it will be easier for them to manage her.
On the other, the name "pillow angel" gave me a sick feeling in my middle. This procedure is definitely also to make life easier for the parents, both physically and emotionally. Is that wrong? I'm not sure.
What I'm sure of is that this procedure, if it's carried out, will set a very disturbing precedent in which the parents of disabled children will be allowed to alter their children -- and their children's lives -- through artificial means. That thought makes me feel sick again.
Thank you for a clear and thoughtful post. You've helped me understand how I feel about this.
It's awful.

Cyberpunk Hero

"What I'm sure of is that this procedure, if it's carried out, will set a very disturbing precedent in which the parents of disabled children will be allowed to alter their children -- and their children's lives -- through artificial means."

Umm. K.

I'm sorry, what part of that is bad?


In response to "I'm sorry, what part of that is bad?"

The procedure that was performed on Ashley was not designed to cure her. It was essentially a harmful medical procedure that no reputable physician would perform unless the patient was disabled and couldn't speak for herself.

Altering human bodies for the sake of convenience is as troubling to me as the aborting of female fetuses in countries like China.

The hormone therapy that Ashley received may well cause serious health problems. In effect, this makes the whole thing an experiment. This is a very disturbing story.


Maybe, her parents are trying to fulfill a pedophilic fantasy, or they are trying to cover previous abuse. I heard alcoholism can cause Ashleys mental condition. So the parents are not so innocent afterall.


We on the planet of the blind believe that in general, people are innocent until proven guilty. We don't approve of the "Ashley Treatment", but we are not going to accuse her parents of anything other than poor judgement, based on the facts as we know them.


I prefer to think of her parents as people who came up with a really bad idea and then no one told them it wasn't. The parents didn't accomplish this alone - a team of doctors decided this was in Ashley's best interest. This is medical science gone wrong.


Im glad all of you have a nice easy time judging this proceedure and decieding that its not acceptable for "you". What you may not have thought about is the idea that as a parent, "your" child who is 100% unable to care for herself, including being fed by a feeing tube, blind, cannot sit up, hold her head up, talk, is in diapers and has to be changed many times a day- will grow to be the size of full grown adult, have mentural periods that "you" will havre to attend to, and can kick you in the face and elswhere with the full force of a strong adult while your trying to change a fecal diaper ect.. If the parents of Ashley want to call their little girl a "pillow Angel" there is nothing wrong with that, The child most likely lays on a pllow all day and thats their nickname for her. Thats thier business. Not yours. My grand daughter is 7 years old, She is decribed above, But she is a kicker and has an active strong muscular constitution. The point is when a disabled child grows to big to be taken care of at home, by thier parents, they have to be cared for by strangers in an intitution- thats where thing go bad. No-longer is the people who love her the ones giving her her daily care. We as family all know about the abuse that goes on in institutional situations. No loving parents want to send their kid to an institution. But when your child wieghs 170 lbs and 100% disabled-mentally and Physically, you cant just toss them in the car and take them to a family function ect.. BUT, it is so good for them to be with the family, at family functions ect.
STEVE: your situation is no where near the way life is for kids like this. To compare your life to this is ignorant. And to say lets make my wife blind Yada Yada, is ludicris. That was really a bad point and had nothing to do with this situation. Be thankful you can type, be married, talk, go in the rain to a bus stop. You are self sufficent and have no business judging the people who have to and want to care for the ones who are not.

Manny G

you sir, are completely mistaken by claiming that this procedure resembles eugenics. Eugenics was the science that skull size and race entailed character disposition. This is about Growth Attenuation...

It should be agreed that keeping Ashley with her family is the best thing to do. It can also be agreed that a smaller person is the easier to care for. How feasible would it be to care for 140lb person in your home? Would you be able to care for such a person alone? Of course not, the point is to keep the circle of care givers closed to just the family and in the home. That is the goal, ultimately I will admit that it is consequential, but nonetheless the best possible outcome was produced.

You want to associate your disability with that of Ashley's and there is absolutely no affinity. Ashley is 3 month old in a 9 year olds body. You are blind. Ashley cannot sit up, ambulate, or use language. She is gastrostomy- tube dependent for nutrition. Can you feed yourself even though your blind? You're great with communicating, and you probably have use of your legs. Again, your correlations are far fetched.You also argue that Ashley's parents used a weak pathos argument, but I want to argue that it is you that is using such an argument which is why your correlations are so far fetched.

Bottom line, you don't know what it is to care for such a person and you can't argue that any human dignity was taken away from Ashley. If you do, then I'd love to hear your premises.

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