Thursday, 4 January 2007

Would you do that?

It was reported on national news in the UK that a girl of 9, but with a mental age of 3 months, will not grow up. She has undergone a full hysterectomy and is placed on a course of hormone treatment to freeze her body in that of a 9-year old child.

The girl, only referred to as Ashley X, suffers from a rare brain condition which means she will not grow beyond the mental age of 3 months, although she is expected to have a full normal lifespan. She will need total care for the rest of her life. Her parents decided on the intervention to make it possible for them to carry her around, and also to pre-empt the hygiene issues related to menstruation.

Disabled groups are reported to have expressed outrage, but the parents say they acted in the child's best interest. It is an emotive issue, and well-nigh impossible to place yourself in their position. Nonetheless, what would you do?

Technorati Tags: , , ,


  1. I think they are experimenting. What would I do? I would not have had the heart to spend the rest of my life with this child.

  2. seraphoflove90014 January 2007 at 14:46

    It does sound like an experiment. I would NEVER have done that to my child! In my opinion, Thats like they're playing God, and it's not right! Just an opinion.

  3. I have a cousin who has a mentally handicapped daughter who at 14 couln't conceive how to take care of her personal hygiene. If fact she can't talk. She was going to school for the mentally handicapped. They were afraid somewhere along the way she would get physically abused so they had her operated on so she wouldn't get into troube and also for the hygiene part. I think they made the right choice for her. She was a good bit older than the nine years old though. She does have the normal body size. Helen

  4. What a difficult situation for those parents. I certainly would not like to be in there place.  What would I do ?   I think I may have had the girl/baby steralised for health reasons. But do not think the freezing at a certain age is ethical (nor did i even think it could be done)  It is just too difficult a situation to generalise about  .She looked in her photographs so much brighter than her three month  mental age    God help all involved.

  5.  I do not know for sure what I would do in that situation.  I certainly feel for the parents and having taken care of quite a few children like this I know the difficulties they face.  I might do the same thing if it meant that I would be able to keep my daughter at home and care for her myself longer.  As long as she suffered no harm from it.


  6. Let me do some research on it, and I'll get back to you.  As a Catholic, I need Mother Church's view.

  7. Oh,my.Don't we humans like to play GOD.Why on earth can't they leave things in Gods hands.I am sure God has a plan for this child,and I really don't think it was to be a guinnea,oh,my.....

  8. It was a kindness to the child whose body will mature and she wouldn't be able to care for the personal hygiene that would be required after puberty.  It would be invasive to her without it.  Knowledge has increased and therefore so does responsibility.  The parents will bear the brunt of their decision but she will be the most comfortable because of it in the long run.  9 is a bit young for the surgery in my opinion though.


  9. I have worked in Pedi at the hospital for a time & dealt with children like this girl.  Keeping her forever 9.  I just cannot wrap myself around that.  I don't know the answer.  With some things there are no answers, just more questions. ~Mary

  10. This is one I don`t feel qualified to comment on, though I feel there will be much debate surrounding the situation. I will say however, that I feel for both the little girl and her parents equally.

    Sandra xxxx

  11. Dear Guido,
    It sounds extreme doesn't it? however we may need a medicalopinion. A lady up the street here did not do that to her mongoloid daughter. the girl went more and more hysterical until her mom had to commit her to a home whichwas very very sad for the mom. I jsut wonder ; can't they jsut do the hormore part adn forgoe the hysterectomy? because I've heard that is super ouchy

  12. Wow what a nightmare for them all!  I would have no idea what to do.  I think people in those kinds of situations do the best they can do with the information they have.  I would only wish them all luck.