In July 2004 Ashley began hormone treatment, through patches on the skin, that is expected to reduce her untreated height by 20% and weight by 40%.They call her a "pillow angel" because "she is so sweet and stays right where we place her — usually on a pillow."
Ashley's parents said the decision to remove their daughter's uterus and breast buds was for the girl's comfort and safety.
"Ashley has no need for her uterus since she will not be bearing children," they said, adding that the decision means she will not experience the menstrual cycle and the bleeding and discomfort commonly associated with it...
The couple emphasised their love for their daughter and said the amount of criticism their choice of treatment attracted had surprised them.
"If the concern has something to do with the girl's dignity being violated, then I have to protest by arguing that the girl lacks the cognitive capacity to experience any sense of indignity," they said.
"The oestrogen treatment is not what is grotesque here. Rather, it is the prospect of having a full-grown and fertile woman endowed with the mind of a baby."
"This particular treatment, even if it's OK in this situation, and I think it probably is, is not a widespread solution and ignores the large social issues about caring for people with disabilities," Dr. Joel Frader, a medical ethicist at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital, said Thursday. "As a society, we do a pretty rotten job of helping caregivers provide what's necessary for these patients."
The case involves a girl identified only as Ashley on a blog her parents created after her doctors wrote about her treatment in October's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.