Surgery to Stunt Girl's Growth Sparks Debate - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-08-2007, 09:42 AM   #31
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from time.com

http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...feed-health_ad

"They knew that the treatment would be controversial, though they did not quite foresee the media storm that would erupt when they decided to publish the case and invite their peers to weigh in. "I felt we were doing the right thing for this little girl—but that didn't keep me from feeling a bit of unease," admits Diekema. "And that's as it should be. Humility is important in a case like this."

Gunther also understands why the case has inspired such intense feelings—but notes that "visceral reactions are not an argument for or against." This was not a girl who was every going to grow up, he says. She was only going to grow bigger. "Some disability advocates have suggested that this course of treatment is an abuse of Ashley's ‘rights' and an affront to her ‘dignity.' This is a mystery to me. Is there more dignity in having to hoist a full grown body in harness and chains from bed to bath to wheelchair? Ashley will always have the mind of an infant, and now she will able to stay where she belongs—in the arms of the family that loves her."

But how far would Drs. Gunther and Diekema take this argument? Would they agree to amputate a child's legs to keep her lighter and more portable? Hormone treatment is nowhere near as risky and disfiguring as amputation, Diekema retorts; it just accelerates a natural process by which the body stops growing. Parents of short children give them growth hormones for social more than medical reasons, he notes. How can it be O.K. to make someone "unnaturally" taller but not smaller? To warnings of a slippery slope, Gunther tilts the logic the other way: "The argument that a beneficial treatment should not be used because it might be misused is itself a slippery slope," he says. "If we did not use therapies available because they could be misused, we'd be practicing very little medicine."
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Old 01-08-2007, 01:03 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen
Parents of short children give them growth hormones for social more than medical reasons, he notes. How can it be O.K. to make someone "unnaturally" taller but not smaller? To warnings of a slippery slope, Gunther tilts the logic the other way: "The argument that a beneficial treatment should not be used because it might be misused is itself a slippery slope," he says.
This is kinda what I've been feeling all along.
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:38 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen

But how far would Drs. Gunther and Diekema take this argument? Would they agree to amputate a child's legs to keep her lighter and more portable? Hormone treatment is nowhere near as risky and disfiguring as amputation, Diekema retorts; it just accelerates a natural process by which the body stops growing.
That's at least a bit disingenuous. They also removed her uterus and her breast tissue. That is not "hormone treatment."

I don't judge these people for the choices they've made. Having lived many, many (too many to mention) years with somebody in the late stages of Alzheimer's, I'm particularly sensitive to how difficult it is. But I am having trouble from a legal and ethical point of view to accept this without question.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:30 AM   #34
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wasn't this an episode of house?
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