A Girl Frozen in Time: "Pillow Angel" That Will Forever be a Child.

Ashley's mom and dad called her their "Pillow Angel" - the girl has a rare medical condition called "static encephalopathy of unknown etiology." Ashley's condition means that even though her body grows normally, her brain is "stuck" developmentally as a 3-month-old baby.

Ashley's parents had now revealed that doctors have given Ashley a hormone treatment to limit her growth (as well as to remove her uterus and block the development of her breast), thus stopping her from growing into a woman. In effect, Ashley will forever remain in a child's body.

Ashley's parents say that because she will remain the weight of a child, it will be easier for them to move her around, bathe her and involve her in family activities - movement that will benefit her physical and mental well-being.

Dr Douglas Diekema from the University of Washington in Seattle, who was on the ethics committee that gave the go-ahead for Ashley's treatment, told the BBC that the panel agreed "because the parents convinced us it was in fact in this little girl's best interests".

"If she were smaller it would be much easier for them to continue to provide a much more personal level of care," he said.

But Agnes Fletcher of the UK's Disability Rights Commission said is was "unnecessary medical treatment to deal with what is essentially a social problem", referring to "the poverty and lack of support" faced by families with disabled children.

Needless to say, this is controversial. Read the whole story before you decide whether this is morally right or wrong. Links: Ashley's Blog | BBC | Times - via Internet Monitor

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I think that, while her parents may have been well-intentioned, any individual should be allowed to live up to his or her biological destiny, even if it leads to death, or to the capacity to breed or to have sexual urges while having the mental age of a 3-month-old. While the tube may be akin to feeding, I think that, if the parents were to "do the right thing" by not refusing tube feeding, they had to go all the way and allow the girl to grow up. The very idea of "desexualizing" their daughter is even more terrible than the idea of pregnancy. Maybe there would have been no sex, and since she is not in a position to understand either situation, an act that can be physically enjoyable would not have been worse abuse than what doctors did to her. I don't think her parents acted in her best interest.

They acted in their own interest, and they were uncomfortable with their daughter's adult body and sexuality. And they did not protect her from abuse as much as they have deprived her of a form of pleasure (she probably doesn't have many) and, if it came to that, of motherhood. As for her child being mentally handicapped, that's not sure, and a handicapped child is still human, and not necessarily worse off than her.
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This little discussion about "Well, what if there's a miracle and she suddenly grows a new brain!? What if there's a miracle treatment!?":
If we come up with a way to jumpstart this girl's brain to the point where she cares if she has a womb or not is such progress that if we can do that, we can regrow all the parts that were removed.

Secondly, "How selfish of those people to want a little girl for ever!":
Imagine babysitting a 200 pound baby. Ever notice how a baby will flail with out really noticing it? Imagine trying to bathe or move or dress a person who has Grand Mal seizures 24/7.
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I have a friend who has a son just like this. It's terrible and sad, but I really support the parents on their decision. She doesn't have a clue of what's going on anyways, and periods would be painful and confusing. Most mentally challenged females have a hard time recognizing and accepting their periods, and each time it occurs they feel they are dying or are injured. Also, the sad truth of it is, if her parents were to die or somehow she ended up being cared for by other people, there is a high incidence of rape among caretakers and their patients. Would it really be fair for her to be raped and bear the offspring of some twisted mind? I don't think it's selfish at all.
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