“What My Son’s Disabilities Taught Me About ‘Having It All'”

This is so wonderful and so sane. Her son is her SON. My daughter is my DAUGHTER. That is the most important thing for us. They are our wonderful children and not the imperfect people others insist they are.   … Continue reading

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“What My Son’s Disabilities Taught Me About ‘Having It All'”

This is so wonderful and so sane. Her son is her SON. My daughter is my DAUGHTER. That is the most important thing for us. They are our wonderful children and not the imperfect people others insist they are.   … Continue reading

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No More Ashley Treatments

The “Ashley treatment” (as Ashley’s parents and doctors have dubbed it) is a combination of hormone treatments and surgical procedures that Ashley, then a six-year old girl with profound cognitive and physical disabilities, underwent with the aim of attenuating the growth and inhibiting aspects of sexual development.  The procedure involves treatment with massive does of estrogen, and the removal of breast buds and uterus (leaving ovaries in place).   The parents requested these procedures and the doctors consented on the grounds that keeping Ashley small, given her profound disabilities, would allow the family to continue to care for Ashley at home and involve her in family activities.  The treatment raised a great deal of concern and disapproval but Ashley’s parents and physicians defended the treatment and even encouraged other parents because they believed that it would help other parents who were struggling with the care of children like Ashley (who they call their “pillow angel”).  This has reemerged as an issue because of reports, published in the Guardian, that the procedure is being carried out in the United Kingdom.  Peter Singer was invited to respond to an article in the Guardian.  The following is a letter I wrote to the editors, which they never published.  I am delighted to have a forum to publish the response, as well as express my regret that the only voice that was given expression was that of Singer.

Continue to read the letter…

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