Re: The Ashley Treatment


Medically unnecessary surgery designed simply to make the patient more conveniently portable is not a great concept. I mean, bilateral leg amputation would cut weight by a third.

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 1:25 PM
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All I know about this issue I learned from watching Law and Order: SVU. Benson wanted to report the parents to Children's Services for abuse, and Stabler disagreed. Dialogue here.

Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 1:34 PM
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It makes sense that a smaller person is easier to care for than a larger one but I don't think that comes anywhere close to justifying the idea of bonsai children.

The level of expense and effort involved in this could go pretty far in organizing a system to accommodate a full sized adult. And a lot of the stuff in that procedure seems like a pretty awful thing to put someone through. I'm not at all convinced that "growth-attenuation therapy" means anything fancier than "carefully monitored malnutrition."

Also I absolutely refuse to believe that the amount of that stuff dedicated to preventing them from going through puberty has a damn thing to do with making it easier to move them around.

Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 2:00 PM
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Later, in the 1950s through the 1970s, healthy preteen and teenage girls whose tall stature was merely deemed unattractive were given estrogen to reduce their predicted height by several inches. But as greater height in girls became increasingly acceptable, even desirable, growth attenuation fell into disfavor. By the turn of the century, the practice was all but obsolete.

Oh fuck this. The giant meteor can't come soon enough.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 2:06 PM
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... words fail me. How is it even a fucking thing that there's a "debate" going on about whether it's okay to inflict unnecessary medical "treatment" on disabled children?

Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 2:07 PM
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And 4 has it completely right.

Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 2:08 PM
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Yeah, my response to the OP is shock and horror -- which isn't to complain about the OP, just that I really can't imagine people agreeing that was a good idea.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 2:16 PM
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This reminds me of something I said to TWYRCL the other night (in reference, if memory serves, to having flipped past some libertarian twerp on TV with a caption like "Child Labor Laws: Good for Developing Countries?"): whenever you encounter an adult arguing that "Children should be allowed to X," you should hear him* saying "Adults should be able to do X to children/make children do X."

* Or her, I guess, but come on: 99.8% him.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 2:30 PM
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There's a weirdly cruel thing about social services generally, that what you can get paid for isn't often not transferable to something that would be more useful.

I mean, I figure literally (or almost) no one would think this was a good idea if they had enough trained assistance to lift/carry/move their disabled child around. For someone in a position where they know they can't reliably get that kind of assistance, but who can get insurance to pay for the growth-stunting treatments... it still does not seem to me to be a good decision, but I can see what would lead someone to it.

(Thinking about this from the perspective of my inlaws, who have been caring for my profoundly mentally disabled brother-in-law, who also has moderately severe cerebral palsy, for forty-nine years now. They don't have nearly enough assistance, and their lives would be much easier if he wasn't such a big guy. I don't know if they've ever heard of this treatment, and I'm sure they'd be horrified if they did. But I can see someone looking at their lives being tempted.)

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 2:42 PM
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This is one of those issues where I thank god we dodged the bullet and wish everyone the best.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 2:56 PM
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9: My ex-neighbor, in her early seventies, is dealing with two big full-grown adults, one her son who ODd and sustained plenty of brain damage and her husband who stroked out while dealing with son and now can't do anything without help.

Of course there isn't enough help and she's about ready to collapse herself. A magic ray to turn her charges into twenty pounders would be a blessing. I suspect a shotgun will be taking care of their problems one of these days.

Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 3:03 PM
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I initially read the second sentence first, and I thought the post would be about using hormones to delay puberty in trans children. The idea is that you would delay puberty until the child was old enough to consent to gender reassignment surgery.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 3:25 PM
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ODd and sustained plenty of brain damage

I don't know why they don't make more of this in anti-drug propaganda. This young woman of about 22 or 23 I knew in Omaha OD'd on morphine and was in a coma for like 9 months or something. Then I saw her a year after that (she was out Christmas shopping with her parents and had to tell me who she was. Awkward.) and she was in bad shape -- oxygen tank, cane, all emaciated. Disturbing.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 6:57 PM
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10: Me, too.

Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 7:03 PM
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So scary and gross and upsetting. Ugh.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-28-16 7:49 PM
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My ex-wife underwent this treatment. She was projected to grow to 6'4", and underwent therapy that stopped her growth at 6'1", where she still felt tall and out of place. I don't think she has a single regret. (Her parents also involved her in the decision-making process, it wasn't forced on her.)

Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03-29-16 7:10 AM
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Some of the recent press about ratcheting back the freely prescribing hand with opioids involves similar cruelties, although less lurid. People with chronic acute pain that in theory could be managed to a bearable level with physical therapies and just plain old palliative physical manipulation but there is a horrible baseline assumption that will never be available to anyone poor let alone rural so for years they've had vast quantities of dope provided but now we're taking that away and there will be nothing to replace it.

Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 03-29-16 7:31 AM
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I hear good things about heroin.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-16 7:42 AM
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To be fair, not uniformly good things.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-29-16 7:46 AM
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As I read I thought the OP had to be an April fool's, but no. And then all you gentle folk point out correctly 'Actually, maybe lesser evil!' Life sucks.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-29-16 8:41 AM
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Especially when you kill the thread.

Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-29-16 10:57 AM
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The "treatment" sounds dystopian. Despite the recognised phenomenon of carers suffering strokes, heart attacks etc. I don't think it could be the right thing.

I draft Wills frequently for people who have one grown-up child still at home who is at some level learning disabled or not able to live independently in the long term. They have great difficulty in trying to set up some living arrangement for these children in the future. The biggest takeaway that I have is from the parents who bitterly regret that they did not encourage their teenage or twentyish young adult to transition part-time to a sheltered living situation when they had the energy and flexibility to do so. Now the forty-something or fifty-something adult is faced with their entire life being irreparably devastated when both parents are gone. Mostly it is too late for my clients by the time they come to me to make their Wills but when I have a chance I mention this.

Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 03-30-16 6:25 AM
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Once again, from the point of view of my inlaws, yeah. There's going to be some scrambling planning for how to take care of my brother-in-law fairly shortly, because they're getting close to being too frail to keep doing it themselves, but they've been putting off thinking about it/dealing with it for a long time now.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-16 7:01 AM
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22,23: Yeah, that's where the murder/suicide options kick in. People put off the hard decisions until the harder ones become inevitable given the society at large doesn't give a damn.

Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03-30-16 11:07 AM
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The problem is that society is wildly failing to support both disabled people and their providers, and this entire discussion takes place inside more-or-less a crisis of exhaustion and financial ruin.

And this is why I don't want to blame the parents for requesting a medical "treatment" that sounds deeply creepy and medically unethical to me. But are the parents actively requesting this intervention? or are they responding to an option that has been offered/suggested to them by their medical practitioners? Best I know, doctors do not simply respond to consumer demand; and they do have to follow certain medico-ethical guidelines. Why is this "treatment" considered ethical and acceptable?

The term "pillow angel" makes me feel very uncomfortable indeed. Makes me think of 1). a child as household pet; or 2). a dead child.

That said, what ogged said in 10, and I'm in no position to judge other parents (though I do want to query their doctors).

Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 03-30-16 9:27 PM
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21: It isn't dead, just growing really slowly. It's an archive angel.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-30-16 9:50 PM
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Posted by: OPINIONATED MATTHEW 28:6 | Link to this comment | 03-30-16 9:58 PM
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