Thursday, January 04, 2007

Controversy Of The Week

I'm sure by now everyone has read the saga of Ashley X. (or heard for the less literarily inclined)

At first, I didn't know what to think. It seemed a little odd and even slightly barbaric. But then I figured, her parents have put up a blog, why not read their side?

A fundamental and universal misconception about the treatment is that it is intended to convenience the caregiver; rather, the central purpose is to improve Ashley’s quality of life. Ashley’s biggest challenges are discomfort and boredom; all other considerations in this discussion take a back seat to these central challenges. The “Ashley Treatment” goes right to the heart of these challenges and we strongly believe that it will mitigate them in a significant way and provide Ashley with lifelong benefits.

Unlike what most people thought, the decision to pursue the “Ashley Treatment” was not a difficult one. Ashley will be a lot more physically comfortable free of menstrual cramps, free of the discomfort associated with large and fully-developed breasts, and with a smaller, lighter body that is better suited to constant lying down and is easier to be moved around.

Ashley’s smaller and lighter size makes it more possible to include her in the typical family life and activities that provide her with needed comfort, closeness, security and love: meal time, car trips, touch, snuggles, etc. Typically, when awake, babies are in the same room as other family members, the sights and sounds of family life engaging the baby’s attention, entertaining the baby. Likewise, Ashley has all of a baby’s needs, including being entertained and engaged, and she calms at the sounds of family voices. Furthermore, given Ashley’s mental age a nine and a half year old body is more appropriate and more dignified than a fully grown female body.

I have to say that their arguments seem well thought out. And realistic. They have weighed the options available to them. Home care is expensive for an adult "child". Long term care facilities are abhorrent. At an adult's size, she will become too much for the parents to handle. Plus, reducing the primary sexual characteristics and side-effects (such as menstruation) for a mentally and physically disabled person sound valid and of overall benefit.

That being said, I am not in their position. I do not have anything remotely resembling this case in my life. And hopefully, I never will.

But that doesn't stop the jerk parade. Take a gander at the comments on Fox's Speakout:
"Sick, they are sick. With their logic, anyone who's not 100% perfect could potentially be sentenced for life in a zombie like state."— Bill (Virginia)

That is so slippery slope, I don't even know where to begin. Basically, it's the one of the stupider stances to base an argument on in the long, sad history of stupid arguments.
"As a mother, I cannot believe this story. It is absolutely disgusting what they did to this child. The parents and the doctors need to be held accountable." — Lisa (Portsmouth, NH)

Yes, and as a mother I'm guessing that you have never had to deal with this, have you? Try thinking seriously about what Ashley's condition really means. And imagine both yourself and your child having to live with this condition. It's fairly easy to throw a stone from a position of safety.

These fucking mouth-breathers get so high and mighty from the trailer park during the commercial breaks between Maury Povich and the People's Court. Thank god, they're there to set us on the right and moral path of enlightenment.


Seriously, I want to hunt down the majority of the "How dare they?" commenting crowd and whack them in the head with a clue-by-four.