A free thinker in the Heartland...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Girl Who Will Never Grow Up

This is one of those stories where you step back and go, "Whoa...". It is titled perfectly, "Frozen in time, the girl who can never grow up."
The parents of a nine-year-old girl in a vegetative state because of a rare brain condition have decided on treatment to keep her a child for the rest of her life.

Three years ago, fearing that she would become too big to lift or move easily, they asked doctors to ensure she would stop growing.

The American girl, identified only as Ashley, has had a hysterectomy, surgery to prevent breast growth and high doses of oestrogen to keep her height to 4ft 5in. Her weight will remain at around five and a half stone. Her parents, who have another daughter and son, have explained the reasons for their decision on a website.

I just can't imagine... making such a decision or having to make a decision. God willing, I won't have to... but... my thoughts on this won't make me very popular though.
She is expected to have a normal lifespan.

Her parents remain adamant they made the right choice for their daughter.

She has static encephalopathy, a brain condition that means she cannot keep her head up, walk, talk or swallow food.

"Ashley has not shown material progress in her mental ability since she was three months of age," they wrote on the website.

"She is dependent on us in every way (including position change in bed), she can't hold a toy, and we're not sure she even recognises us."

They said their daughter is, however, alert and aware of her environment.

To me, I don't like this idea... And I declare this to be my asshole opinion that you can disregard. I don't really see a difference here in surgeries to stunt her development to "keep" her a child rather than just sawing her legs off to make her easier to move. One isn't better than the other option...

I know this won't be a popular opinion, but I just don't see why we can't let people die in peace. With the advances in medicine we now have, people who wouldn't live are now going to live full lives... giving us new ethical dilemmas. If we are prolonging human life merely because they are human, I don't understand allowing such radical medical treatments which is dehumanizing in nature.

In case you were curious, yes I don't have kids and yes I probably "don't understand." I do have loved ones, and have had to say my goodbyes to them over the years. As previously stated, just my asshole opinion.

You can visit her parent's site HERE