Tuesday, February 20, 2007

AMA to Meet with Activists Mad About Growth-Stunting Case

See this article by that title. This controversy bubbled up during my little hiatus, so this is the first I've posted on it. The article begins:

The American Medical Association bowed to pressure from disabled activists and agreed to meet Tuesday to hear their concerns about growth-stunting treatment performed on a severely brain-damaged Washington girl.

The now 9-year-old girl identified only as "Ashley" had surgery at Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center in Seattle to remove her womb and breast buds, and hormones to keep her permanently child-sized -- treatment some activists say amounted to mutilation.

The treatment was first publicized in a medical journal owned by the AMA, and her parents created a Web site about their "pillow angel" last month to defend their decision. Their daughter was diagnosed with severe brain damage shortly after birth. She can't walk, talk, sit or stand and functions like a young infant.

Her parents say the treatment makes Ashley more portable, more comfortable, and will enable her to remain with her family and receive care at home even as she ages.

"We are still asking that the AMA oppose the Ashley treatment" and to endorse proposals to allow disabled people on Medicaid to get-in home support so they can avoid drastic treatment or being institutionalized, said Chicago activist Amber Smock of the group Feminist Response in Disability Activism.



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