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Author: Subject: Parents share their dilemma over curbing the growth of their disabled child
Enyo
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[*] posted on 8-26-2013 at 11:35 AM
Parents share their dilemma over curbing the growth of their disabled child


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ASHLEY is a nine-year-old girl who has static encephalopathy — a severe brain impairment. She cannot walk or talk. She cannot keep her head up, roll over, or sit up by herself. She is fed with a tube. Her parents call her "Pillow Angel" because she stays right where they place her, usually on a pillow.

Her parents feared she would become too big one day — to lift, move, take on a family outing. So they decided to keep her small.

In an unusual case stirring ethical debate, doctors at Seattle Children's Hospital and Ashley's parents are describing how she received treatment over the past few years designed to stunt her growth radically.

The treatment, known as growth attenuation, is expected to keep Ashley's height about 1.3 metres and weight about 34 kilograms for life. Had she not been treated, doctors estimate, she would have attained a woman's average weight and height.

The treatment has outraged some doctors and carers, who say it is a violation of a person's dignity to impose such impairment on their growth. Some say it's also a violation of the medical oath: first do no harm.

But Ashley's parents, who do not want to be publicly identified, say it allows her to have more interaction with her parents and younger siblings.

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This was one of the articles given for our EP2 class this week. I found it a very interesting debate. It's quite old, from about 2007, but still.
What are everyone's opinions?

I did like the final quote, though:
Quote:
They also wrote: "The objection that this treatment interferes with nature is one of the most ridiculous objections of all; medicine is all about interfering with nature. Why not let cancer grow and nature takes its course. Why give antibiotics for infections?"







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TheWanderingJew
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[*] posted on 8-26-2013 at 09:38 PM



This is one of those things that just reinforces my belief that morality is not absolute.

Being ethical isn't about black and white, it's about shades of grey.





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[*] posted on 8-26-2013 at 10:14 PM


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Some say it's also a violation of the medical oath: first do no harm.


Well, since she will never recover from her condition, I think her parents need to be thought of in this case. Specifically the stress they will put on their bodies trying to move a full-grown woman around for the rest of their lives. It almost seems like doing more harm not allowing them to go through this process.

Given the situation, I think it could be acceptable. But I'll be the first person to admit I don't know shit.







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[*] posted on 8-27-2013 at 11:25 AM


Quote: Originally posted by ericdraven  
Quote:
Some say it's also a violation of the medical oath: first do no harm.


Well, since she will never recover from her condition, I think her parents need to be thought of in this case. Specifically the stress they will put on their bodies trying to move a full-grown woman around for the rest of their lives. It almost seems like doing more harm not allowing them to go through this process.

Given the situation, I think it could be acceptable. But I'll be the first person to admit I don't know shit.


Yeah ^that has pretty much been my thought to. Also it seems to be to her benefit that she's able to be taken on more family stuff.





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[*] posted on 8-27-2013 at 12:23 PM


medical points to consider:

A) how does treatment x benefit patient x.
B) does the treatment x harm anyone else.
C) weigh the answers together.

its a really odd case, because we have people who cannot live unaided, and have a very very poor quality of life. they are things that do not exist in nature, but they are wrought by nature. in nature they would be left to die at birth, but we dont do that sort of thing. and so it is entirely a human thing to decide how to best take care of them.

considering this girl cannot use her body, it doesnt matter that it wont get bigger.






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[*] posted on 8-27-2013 at 09:22 PM


Quote: Originally posted by shadow_sniper  
considering this girl cannot use her body, it doesnt matter that it wont get bigger.

I was thinking about this. like... if this is true, then it does no harm, so surely it doesn't actually violate the Hippocratic Oath?

In which case, I would see no issue with it, as it is clearly being done with what they at least believe to be her best interests at heart. And I find it difficult to argue to the contrary. How can she enjoy even a semblance of quality of life if her family struggle to care for her? *shrug*




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[*] posted on 8-28-2013 at 03:04 PM


holy shit dude



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