Thursday, April 5, 2012

Growth Attenuation: my final word

Growth attenuation or the Ashley “treatment” is back in the news and in the blogs again. Only this time the outrage is fundamentally gone. Children are being subjected to this barbarism all over the world, slipping under the legal radar via deception and word play by doctors, lawyers, parents and so-called hospital “ethics committees”.

Parents and the rest defend their position by saying their choices are based on the “lesser of evils”, never once stopping to question why society is, without fail, providing we parents of children with severe disabilities only evils to choose from.

I will not mince words. There is no justification for this mutilation in any arena, moral, legal, health or otherwise. Parents are being lied to. This is no solution. The issues of constant care, lack of support, inaccessibility to the world at large, stress, pain, sexual and physical abuse of our vulnerable children are not addressed by this “treatment”. Cognition, that red herring that “professionals” and public alike seem to fall back on as the appropriate line to draw in the sand is so arbitrary, so narrow as to defy logic and even the most basic understanding of how the brain functions and acquires knowledge and awareness.

We are a stupid people, loathe to study and learn from our collective history.  We have burned the witches, strung up the niggers, gassed the kykes, lobotomized the crazies, beat up the faggots all in the name of what was right and good. We look back now, in horror at our primitive ancestors’ sins, and, failing to remove the mote in our own eyes, we're now on to the 'tards. Disability rights…especially the rights of those most severely affected…are the final frontier of civil rights action.  Sadly, I suspect a few more generations of dehumanization of our most vulnerable will pass before any sort of serious political action will take place to bring about real change.


  1. If my daughter was as disabled as Ashley I would personally do everything I could so I would never have to give her up to an institution to look after where she WOULD be dehumanized and become a number, I would want her to stay with me as I know she can not physically fight for her own rights. In this respect I agree with Ashley's parents, why not let them take care of her how they see fit? I am wheelchair bound and know what its like to live with disability, my sister in-law is severely disabled and I wish I could still care for her myself and change her and bathe her but the truth is i cant because she is just too heavy and strong. If you have any experience of living with disability you will know how ruthless society can be towards us and how inaccessible help is. Disability is not easy for any one but especially not for the loved ones who job it is to care for them.

    1. 'as they see fit' could be to bury them in the yard, for all you know. It's a bit harsh to 'want to care for your child' so much, that you add growth attenuation to their disabilities.

  2. You know, Olive, what is so interesting about that comment above is that she identifies herself as "wheelchair bound", putting a really negative spin on her own disability. The term is wheelchair USER...they are not "bound" to their chairs. The paraplegic gentleman that I dated at one time felt his chair was the most liberating tool on earth. And she speaks as though we long time caregivers don't "know what it's like". I DO know what it's like and even married a man with a severely disabled, wheelchair using daughter of his own. I am now the mother of TWO severely intellectually and physically disabled adults. We use ceiling lifts, bath aids and hands on support to do the job of caring for them. The problem with the logic of "keeping them at home forever" is that it has nothing to do with their size, but with how much help one can receive at home. No matter how small a person is made to be, at some point, you need help with the job. This is a case where size doesn't matter! Why would anyone want to further stigmatize their child by making them abnormally small forever? It boggles the imagination, and violates human rights.