By now, most of you have heard about the little girl in Washington State, whose parents have decided to have her surgically altered in an attempt to keep her small and manageable. Her prognosis is to be a mentally handicapped child for her entire life. The problem is that normal parents cannot handle a full grown adult infant, as they themselves age and lose strength. These parents had their daughter's uterus, appendix, and breast buds removed and massive doses of estrogen given in an attempt to keep her "little" forever. It was not a decision made lightly, but with the help of medical ethicians. It is being called The Ashley Treatment. This family loves their little girl and takes excellent care of the child. I went to their site and read the comments by perfect strangers and was stunned by the freedom other bloggers feel in forming opinions and being disgustingly frank with these well meaning parents. There were comments like "Cut off her limbs, too --- that would make her smaller" or "How do you know that menstruation would be painful for her --- let her grow up normally". What words did these people not understand? This child has a condition that will never allow her to do anything and caring for her is a huge problem. Unless they have walked in these parents' moccasins, they have no right to an opinion.
the CAT Scan of Courtney's brain. June second, the neurosurgeon waltzed into my daughter's room and stuck the films against the window, where sunshine streamed brightly and illuminated a skull with a large amount of empty space. He said, "Unfortunately, this child has almost no brain and I'm not sure we should shunt her". With a shunt, she would live about two years and without the shunt , she would live about three months. The decision was taken out of this young family's hands. The federal government had passed "The Baby Jane Doe" ruling that required that medical personnel notify the authorities, if physicians did not do everything possible for newborn babies. Ironically enough, women could kill their fetuses inutero, but families could not withhold treatment from children who could not possibly live. The cephalic shunt was done the next day and the excess cerebrospinal fluid was drained from her skull and absorbed in her abdominal cavity. This allowed her fontanels to close and her skull to become a normal size. She would never be able to see, hear, eat, speak, roll over or even know she was alive. This is a picture of
This picture shows Courtney as she was getting older. You can see the spasticity in her body and know that she had no cognitive function by the way her hands are curled in decerebrate movement. If she had been born in an earlier time without medical intervention, she would have passed quickly from this world of pain. Once again, one of God's special little ones was snatched from the jaws of Heaven by do-gooders without knowledge of her best interests. Courtney lived for nine and a half years suffering through pneumonias, abdominal surgeries for obstructions and clam shell braces for a scoliosing spine. Her family watched helplessly while she suffered with multiple difficulties. How can anyone say what medical procedures should be done to a child, if they are not the ones who have to live with the consequences? Our family has lived through the heartache of birth defect and we would support Ashley's family's decision to prevent her from becoming adult size and necessitating care outside a loving home.