Ashely: A Case Study

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Is it medically ethical to sterilize and reduce the size of a six year old girl? Who holds more benefit in this situation: the parents or Ashley? The parents argue that keeping Ashley smaller will benefit her and themselves in all aspects of her care and health. It is argued that the procedures performed on Ashely are in her best interest. First, being a smaller size child will allow her parents to lift, transfer, and assist in personal cares an easier task which reduces bedsores, bladder infections, and other complications that she may experience (Clark and Vasta, 2006). Second, the removal of her uterus prevents her from experiencing menstruation and the associated symptoms. Third, removal of her breasts inhibits her from the possibility of breast cancer. Removing her breasts also facilitate and easier mode of transferring as the straps drape across her chest. Fourth, the appendix was excised to reduce the risk of appendicitis due to her inability to communicate the…show more content…
It is believed to be non-beneficial because Ashely is not suffering with her disease, “the treatment is untested and has potential adverse effects, and the surgery is unnecessary because there are other viable options” (Clark and Vasta, 2006). There are other resources that are available that Ashely’s parents could utilize. One, to assist with mobility and transferring; her parents could purchase larger wheelchairs. Two, to assist with personal cares; her parents could purchase a shower chair or larger bath tubs. Third, her parents have access to home health assistance if needed to relieve them of some of their caregiving duties. The risks associated with these various other treatments outweigh the benefits. With the given information, it seems as if the argument does not support the ethical principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence because the good of the patient is not followed and harm is being

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