The Ashley Treatment: Practical, but Ethical? Essay

The Ashley Treatment: Practical, but Ethical? Essay

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The Ashley Treatment: Practical, But Ethical?
- Hitler times – medical experiments
- Kennedy sister – lobotomy
- Potential grave consequences that can result from irresponsible, or criminal, medical experiments. While we must be vigilant to protect innocent victims from such experimentation we cannot let that stifle our duty to continue making advances in healthcare and improving the lives of patients.
- Moral obligations should typically not be so demanding that enormous sacrificies must be made in order to fulfill them (Liao, Savulescu, & Sheehan, 2007).
- Beauchamp and Childress – ethical principles of autonomy
- One must ask if a treatment is practical does that make it ethical?

‘Hopes of keeping her as comfortable as possible’
‘”The Ashley Treatment” included high dose estrogen therapy, a hysterectomy, and breast bud removal.
Ashley had a normal birth, but her mental and motor faculties did not develop (“The Ashley Treatment,” 2007).
Ashley was diagnosed with encephalopathy of unknown etiology. This meant that she would forever have the mental capacity of an infant, though she had no physical deformities.
Although being awake and alert, Ashley cannot walk, talk, sit up, or even support her own head.
Ashley is cared for primarily by her parents and grandparents in their home.
Ashley’s parents state they became concerned when she developed precocious puberty at the age of six.
They spoke with their physician’s at Seattle Children’s Hospital about attenuating her growth process to minimize her adult height and weight. They also discussed two other treatments that they felt would enhance Ashley’s adult quality of life. One was a hysterectomy, which would prevent Ashley from feeling menstrual cramps and preven...


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...r tended to her activities of daily living – feeding her, grooming her. However, her mother had no insight on her condition and how to help her take care of herself. I, personally took her to school and talked to teachers who advised to have her join a school for the disabled, she was falling behind in classes and it was affecting her mentally and emotionally. She was visually impaired and no one in the family knew until she took a vision test catered to her. She is now 22 years old, and it amazes me to see how she has flourished. A young girl who used to be glued to the television, watching cartoons and the likes, she is now on her iPad watching videos on YouTube, face-timing with friends and family. When our grandmother passed away a few years ago, she took it upon herself to console everyone. Had her growth been hindered, she wouldn’t be the person she is now.

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