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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Monday, February 19, 2007


Following my blog entry on Ashley, I have received a link to an online petition that protest against this dangerous precedent to directly interfere with this girl’s development for reasons of utility.

A Statement of Solidarity for the Dignity of People With Disabilities: A Reaction to the "Ashley Treatment"

'We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are in agreement that the growth attenuation therapy administered to the little girl known as Ashley is an affrontto her human dignity, and to that of all people with disabilities. Despite the goodintentions of both her parents and the doctors who have treated her in accordance with their wishes, we condemn these medical procedures and declare that it is neverethically acceptable to medically alter a human being for the benefit of caregivers.Such unnecessary medical procedures without therapeutic indications demean the essential humanity of the person undergoing them and of all people with similar disabilities.Whether disabled or not, people must be given the opportunity to grow and develop according to their own capacity, whatever that may be. It is the duty of both caregiversand the hallmark of a progressive, civilized society to provide the means by which all of us can reach our full human potential.

Ashley is impaired by an unknown brain disorder. Our hearts go out to her parents,and we recognize that they love Ashley and are trying their best in very trying circumstances to care for their daughter. But these unnecessary medical procedures with no demonstrated therapeutic purpose, in which doctors have surgically and hormonally altered Ashley to remain small and childlike, are misguided. While it is true that none of us can walk in her parents' shoes, we believe that this approach to easing the hardshipof caring for a child with disabilities makes the child the problem, and by doing so, makes it acceptable for well-meaning people to deny the essential humanity of people with disabilities in the course of caring for them. People with disabilitiesare not the problem. The real issue is the lack of support, care, and help from oursocial, medical, and civil establishments for Ashley's parents and for all those who care for people with disabilities. Yes, it is expensive. But the alternativeis morally and ethically unacceptable in a society that honors life and human dignity.We call on our fellow citizens, our government, and our medical establishment to treat people with disabilities as people, not as problems. We stand together and demand that doctors and social service agencies never again use medicine to strip someone of their humanity through medical procedures like the "Ashley Treatment,"and call on our legislators to pass laws that codify the right of people with disabilities to their integrity as people.'


Thanks to Susan Fitzmaurice for passing on this info and starting the petition.

Post Scriptum:

I encourage you to sign it! My original post can be found at: THE RIGHT TO GROW UP