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Forums > Social Discussion > Messing with Nature... I guess you could call it

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GitasGuy


GitasGuy

Pooh-Bah
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 2303
Posted:Disabled girl's growth medically stunted
Thursday Nov 2 11:34 AEDT
In a report published in a medical journal this month, two doctors describe a 6-year-old girl with profound, irreversible developmental disability who was given high doses of estrogen to permanently halt her growth so that her parents could continue to care for her at home.

The controversial growth-attenuation treatment, which included hysterectomy, was requested by the child's parents and initiated after careful consultation and review by an ethics committee.

In their report in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Drs. Daniel F. Gunther and Douglas S. Diekema, both at the University of Washington in Seattle, explain the reasoning behind what they hope will generate a healthy debate. Gunther is at the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, and Diekema is at the Center for Pediatric Bioethics.

Caring for children with profound developmental disabilities can be difficult and demanding, they note. For children with severe combined neurologic and cognitive impairment who are unable to move without assistance, all the necessities of life - dressing, bathing, transporting - must be provided by caregivers, usually parents, and these tasks become increasing difficult, if not impossible, as the child increases in size.

"Achieving permanent growth attenuation while the child is still young and of manageable size would remove one of the major obstacles to family care and might extend the time that parents with the ability, resources, and inclination to care for their child at home might be able to do so," Gunther and Diekema write.

The parents of the 6-year-old, both of whom were college-educated professionals, indicated a strong desire to continue caring for their daughter. Despite having the neurologic development no greater than that of an infant, the 6-year-old responds to her parents and two healthy siblings -- vocalizing and smiling in response to care and affection -- and "clearly is an integral, and much loved, member of the family," the authors note.

After extensive evaluation, the combined opinion of a team of specialists is that the child will have no significant neurologic or cognitive improvements.

The onset of puberty and continued growth caused concern in the parents about how they would care for their daughter long-term, which they clearly wanted to do. They were concerned about having to turn over care to "strangers" and also about the complications that would arise when the child started menstruating.

The child is now a little more than a year into growth-attenuating therapy and approaching the end of her growth, Gunther and Diekema report. "As of yet, there have been no treatment complications."

The authors feel that growth arresting therapy can be "both ethical and feasible and should be an option available to parents."

The authors of a commentary applaud Gunther and Diekema for publishing this case report, although they believe that attempts to attenuate growth are "ill advised."

Nonetheless, Dr. Jeffrey P. Brosco from the University of Miami and Dr. Chris Feudtner from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, say that by beginning the debate, this paper helps to "advance our ethical dialogue as we struggle to define our core values in words, laws, and deeds. Only with further research and public discussion will we learn whether attempts to attenuate growth run with or against our fundamental values in caring for children with profound developmental disabilities."

SOURCE: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, October 2006.

Hoppers i just found this on my local MSN news. And i don't know how i feel about such a use/abuse of medical treatments. confused

Where does this line of treatment differ from stem cell research, which i believe (with minimal amount of knowledge i admit) could one day fix the original problem with this young girl.
Ok so my question is, is this treatment moraly right? or should this child be left to "survice" without any frankenstein like treatments just to make her parents job easier!!


:admires giant wooden aeroplane: Its about time trees were good for something, instead of just standing their like jerks!!! ubblol ubbtickled

Homer rocks!!!! ubblol ubbrollsmile

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Posted: Written by: fyrespirit


I am appalled!!! Did the parents ever stop to think that maybe there was a reason why they were given this child by the natural order? Instead of caring for her as she would become and acquiring some compassion and patience which maybe the laws of nature decided that they needed, they took a drastic measure with a human spirit.

I believe that everything happens with purposeful intention...now noone will ever know what the reason was for this childs condition. Helen Keller hardly knew she was in the world as a small child but later became an inspiration for overcoming seemingly insurmountable adversities!

I don't know what else to say except that I am ashamed that these medical *geniuses* are from my country!!!



Unless you are someone who lives in the country and totally off the land with no modern technology (which I assume you aren't because you have the internet), I don't think you really have a right to declare what is 'natural' and what isn't. After all, because of technology, every aspect of our lives are completely different to what is really 'natural' eg. living in tribes etc.


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: stout


Me? I just accept it for what it is, which is why I ran screaming out of philosophy class.



Yeah philosophy was mostly annoying and without application. Apart from ethical philosophy which I found rather interesting.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Jeff, it's not being pedantic, it's just being right, that's all



That's the interesting part of this discussion, where do we draw the line on what's natural , and what's not? Is the use of tools natural? seeing as how some birds use sticks to get insects out of crevices in trees. Is farming natural? seeing as how some species of ants actually farm aphids?



The thrust of this thread revolves around the perception of the girl's current and future mental state ( happiness ) with an assumption that it's going to be misery due to the violation of some natural directive.



And to think, I used to believe antispin was a violation of natural law,,,,,,DOH



edited to remove prefixes

EDITED_BY: stout (1162578925)


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted:I think jeff was getting at the fact that nature doesn't have a sense of morality, therefore it is said to be amoral, ie: with out morality - not knowing about wrong or right, rather than immoral, ie: knowing what's wrong and right, and doing the wrong stuff.





"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:I figured that's what Jeff was saying, that's why I said he was right. smile

It's us as humans that make the judgement calls, like nature being cruel ( eg, a cat torturing a mouse to death ) when, in reality, the cat can't even begin to understand the concept of cruelty. So yes kitty is indeed amoral, not immoral,,, mouse is still unhappy though because he doesn't understand that he was born to be food.


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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted:Yes.

But in your reply before last, I would take out the words unnatural and natural and such like. It implies that natural and unnatural have some form of guidance to give us. Basically, that we should stick to what natural. And that's not the case. We practically should never stick to what's natural.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Done, but the implications are that natural has some form of guidance to give us, or that we should draw guidance from what's natural. I don't know if there's any written texts about to aid in said guidance, but then, I haven't looked for them.

It's an old argument...natural=good,,,man made=bad,,I've just never seen it applied to morality before, Vitamins and food, yes, and whatever else the marketing people can dream up to sell us based on the idea that their product is "natural"


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faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin

Total posts: 3556
Posted:if heroic measures were taken, then they took the responsibilty of the child care
i don't agree with what they did, but as was said we don't have the whole story, either

so i put my two cents but know i should reserve judgement

(my friend had a sister who was an agent orange baby...she ended up to be a full grown adult with three month old capacities-friend said the pure emotion that she faced life with shaped his outlook)


Faith
Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted: Written by: Doc Lightning


It's not about making the parents' job "a little easier," it's about saving the girl's life and holding the family together.



ditto

imho - that is the only argument in this case, with the facts as i know them from this one source. there's no argument as far as i can see.


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:When I first read this story I assumed that this girl's "profound, irreversible developmental disability" was unusual growth. That was the only reason I could think of for suggesting stunt of growth.

Having re-read the story I now know that this wasn't the case and therefore I'd have to answer that this isn't a good precedent to set.

Please don't think of this as a knee jerk reaction. This month my 5 year old son will be assessed for autism. Whatever his diagnosis, it's been established that he displays behaviour significantly upon the autistic spectrum.

One example of this behaviour was that he used to become so frustrated that he would hit and kick me, hurting me and leaving bruises all over my body. It caused me great emotional and physical pain, especially as he was around the 90th percentile in height when last assessed and is therefore above average for his age, but if anyone had proposed stunting his growth to prevent these effects worsening in the future, even then I wouldn't have allowed it and rightly so as it's something he no longer does.

Similarly, his paediatrician prescribed him medication in order to make his bowel movements more regular for my benefit and not his. Needless to say, I've never collected it and again rightly so as he's now now longer so "artistic" with his "output" (although I'm sure he won't thank me for telling you of this by the time he's able to register and post here biggrin)

Although stunting this girl's growth could seem to be a result of foresight, I'd consider it somewhat lacking in foresight. Some disabilities which were once considered irreversible are no longer so. This girl is only 6 years old and there's no knowing what may be discovered during her lifespan.

I also know there's a chance that such a breakthrough may never come, but that's not the only issue within lack of foresight. Life changes. I don't know how old her parents are but they're not always going to be young and one day there won't be here at all. Eventually she will be cared for by others so to stunt her growth solely so that her parents can continue to care for her at home seems short sighted.

Again, none of us know the full story and of course I don't think it's selfish at all for them to want to be their daughter's sole carers, but I would be interested to know how they have been/are being supported to care for her in turn, if at all. I would consider this a first resort which is undetailed in the story.

Again, I say this from the perspective of someone who has direct experience of this support lacking. Social Services seemed to expect me to lift, shift and care around the clock for my ex-boyfriend during one of his multiple sclerosis relapses despite being heavily pregnant with our son at the time.

It's hard to say that these parents are wrong as I'm sure they're very loving, certainly hard working and I know what the pressure to "do the right thing" feels like amid so much conflicting advice. I do however think that a procedure like this should be the very last resort.


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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GitasGuy


GitasGuy

Pooh-Bah
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 2303
Posted: Written by: jeff(fake)


The child would have become deeply unhappy had her natural developement been allowed to continued. The only "mutilation" would have been that visited upon her by nature.

I don't think anyone taking part in an electronic debate has any right to preach to me on the "natural order". Why not try that with our diabetic members? I also take issue that you seriously believe you know what god's intentions are! Frankly I suspect he would be on the parent side as well.


The child has a mental capacity less than a one year old. How much unhappiness can you imagine she would know.... Do you remember being unhappy a 1 year old. confused
As for knowing what god's intentions are. You say how could anyone know yet you think you do. That sounds like double standard. But i maybe wrong you could be the embodiement of christ....


:admires giant wooden aeroplane: Its about time trees were good for something, instead of just standing their like jerks!!! ubblol ubbtickled

Homer rocks!!!! ubblol ubbrollsmile

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted: Written by: stout


Done, but the implications are that natural has some form of guidance to give us, or that we should draw guidance from what's natural. I don't know if there's any written texts about to aid in said guidance, but then, I haven't looked for them.

It's an old argument...natural=good,,,man made=bad,,I've just never seen it applied to morality before, Vitamins and food, yes, and whatever else the marketing people can dream up to sell us based on the idea that their product is "natural"



Yeah, but really we hardly even know what is natural anymore. Most british people I would imagine, have an ideal image of the british country side as rolling pastures scattered with cows. But that's an entirely artificial landscape. Most of the animals we have around us, are tamed mockeries of what they once were. People object to genetic engineering but not the long version called selective breeding.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:Selective breeding is basically a glorified dating service for livestock. Except that we eat the happy couples and their babies. Genetic engineering is tampering with the DNA sequences on such a small level but the results of which can have the potential be magnified into deformations such as no udders, two heads, or meglomaniacal intellegence...

"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted:You just have to try harder with selective breeding to do that. Nobody has bred for intelligence in cows... gary larson has probably dreamt about it thou.

"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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Neon_Shaolin
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam

Total posts: 6120
Posted:Or maybe he saw what REALLY went on with the animals behind our backs. The Grand High Chicken was probably right when she told him no one would believe his cock and bull stories so he decided to put his findings in the form of surrealist parody instead...

*achem*

offtopic


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:It depends on what your view of nature is.....Is it romanticized with visions of happy skipping hippied cavorting in a field of wildflowers while rainbows crisscross the sky and all the happy woodland animals look on with admiration?

Or is it more realistic? A nature red in tooth and claw perception, where the "goal" of the natural order is procreation until death, and the health and happiness of the individual is not part of the equation at all.

I subscribe to the latter view, cynical as it may seem, so that's why I have such difficulty accepting that what's been done to this girl is, in any way, a violation of natural "law" And I have an even more difficult time accepting that the girl will somehow become aware of her predicament and assume misery as a mindset because what's been done to her is "unnatural".

Don't get me wrong here, there's many benefits and much beauty to be found in nature, but I'm not about to give up my expresso machine and computer in favour of putting on the bearskins and becoming a hunter gatherer....

I still don't like fake boobs though.


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ado-p
GOLD Member since May 2004

ado-p

Pirate Ninja
Location: Galway/Ireland

Total posts: 3882
Posted:Why only those two views?

Why not both?

Nature is entropy and evolution all rolled into one. Maybe.

Heat death... now theres something to look forward to


Love is the law.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada

Total posts: 1872
Posted:Both views are possible, after al they're not mutually exclusive. What I was getting at was the idea that the romantic view exists in what could be termed a moment in time, whereas the realistic view is omnipresent.

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mcp
PLATINUM Member since May 2003

mcp

Flying Water Muppet
Location: Edin-borrow.

Total posts: 5276
Posted:<naughty> but really, how is keeping the girls apparent 'body age' closer to her mental age more unnatural than letting them separate to be wildly different? Surely it's more unnatural to be 'age' 40 mental age 1, than 'age' 6 mental age 1? </naughty>

stout: I agree.


"the now legendary" - Kaskade
"the still legendary" - Kaskade

I spunked in my friend's aquarium and the fish ate it. I love all fish. Especially the pink ones. They are my bitches. - Anon.

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