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Ethics:Frameworks And Decisions - Assignment Example

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There were no physical movements or mental growth of Ashley (Clark & Vasta, 2007). Decision concerning Ashley was taken by her parents and the…
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Ethics:Frameworks And Decisions
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1. Were the alterations to Ashley’s body in her best interest? Alterations to Ashley’s body, such as hormones injection for short height, breast budsand uterus removal, are in her best interest. There were no physical movements or mental growth of Ashley (Clark & Vasta, 2007). Decision concerning Ashley was taken by her parents and the doctor with the consent of hospital Bioethics Committee of 40 members panel (Beyerstein, 2007). So, it was a well researched decision of professionals. Medically, Ashley is a bedridden patient, so her small size can help to prevent the risk of catching diseases like bedsore (Tanner, 2007). Removal of uterus helps in Estrogen Therapy, hygienic issues and skin damage due to her abnormal menses at later stage. Ashley’s family has fibrocystic breast issues. In the long run, with the possibility of abnormal breast size, it could not only create more health risk but it could affect her breast tissues which can lead to breast cancer (Catlin, 2007). Most importantly, her parents can better take care of her (Davies, 2007) and involve her in family activities easily.
2. What is/are the core issue/s of the situation?
The core issue is whether the treatment of the patient with physical & mental disabilities by birth through alteration in physical growth by medical treatment (as in the case of Ashley) is ethically right or wrong. This case is not only about decision of parents to change the growth pattern of their abnormal child, it is also about the facilities provided by government for such children, the acceptance of disabled and abnormal children by society, the manner in which the media react to such events, as well as the way doctors professionally handle and guide such cases. Ashley was diagnosed with Static Encephalopathy after her birth and her disabilities were extensive due to brain damage (Britgirl, 2007). As per her parents, they couldn’t find any better help from school for disabled children or any other place for Ashley (Catlin, 2007). Another thing is, as per Washington law, prior approval of court is required for such treatment; whereas in case of Ashley there was no court approval (Burkholder, 2007). It also highlights the issue of lack of professionalism in hospitals.
3. Would this situation create a problem for you as a professional?
As per Dr. Joel Frader, the decision of Ashley’s treatment was right but you can’t generalize Ashley’s case for every patient (Tanner, 2007). So, being a health and behavioral professional, my main concern would be the health and well-being of the patient. If such cases keep on appearing on regular basis, you cannot justify everything ethically. If parents start controlling growth process of their physically & mentally abnormal children in order to decrease their responsibility, it will not only generate ethical issues, rather, it will become societal issue. So, being Medical Professionals, it is our responsibility to handle every such case on merit, completely analyze the case and advice family members about all possible outcomes. It is the ethical and professional responsibility as a health and behavioral professional not to manipulate situations that encourage family members to adopt this procedure in order to make their life easy. It is the role of society to be supportive, as well as the duty of the school of mentally retarded children to treat their students like their family members. Nurses should be sympathetic and doctors should not forget their professional obligation. Otherwise, I consider it as a possibility of a great pending problem if it continues like this without having any standards of treatment, because more and more people will start following this practice in order to make their life more tolerable (Claire, 2010).
Beyerstein, L., 2007. Parents stunt growth of profoundly disabled daughter. [Online]. Available at [Accessed 3 January 2012].
Britgirl, 2007. Treatment Will Keep Girl Child Sized. [Online]. Available at [Accessed 3 January 2012].
Burkholder, A., 2007. Report: Pillow angel surgery broke law, CNN Medical News, [Online]. Available at [Accessed 3 January 2012].
Claire, 2010. Ashley Treatment...Alive and Well...Sadly, No More Ashley Xs: Say NO to Growth Attenuation, [Online]. Available at [Accessed 3 January 2012].
Clark, P. A. & Vasta, L., 2007. ‘The Ashley Treatment: An Ethical Analysis’, The Internet Journal of Law, Healthcare and Ethics. Vol. 5, no. 1, [Online]. Available at [Accessed 3 January 2012].
Catlin, A. J., 2007. ‘The Ashley Treatment Two View Points’, Pediatric Ethics, Issues & Commentary, Pediatric Nursing, Vol. 32, / no. X, [pdf] Available at;_ylu=X3oDMTE1ZDQzN2t2BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA01TWTEwMV8yMDk-/SIG=13ddjaifj/EXP=1325596071/**http%3a// [Accessed 3 January 2012].
Davies, C., 2007. Ethics hell of the Pillow Angel, [Online]. Available at [Accessed 3 January 2012].
Tanner, L., 2007. Disabled girls surgery sparks debate, CanWest Media Works Publications, [Online]. Available at Ashley_GrowthStuntTreatment.html [Accessed 3 January 2012]. Read More
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