Thanks Dr. Anonymous for summarizing the controversy surrounding The Ashley Treatment:
Ashley was born with a rare condition of the brain called static encephalopathy. What does this mean? The best way I’ve seen it described is a type of permanent brain damage. This type of condition is associated with a lot of disabilities like mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, and other similar conditions. It’s been reported that she currently has the mental capacity of a three month old baby.
Ashley’s parents, like other parents, were concerned about how they would care for a special needs child like this. But, unlike other parents, they took an unprecedented step to ask her Seattle doctors to perform what was described as “growth-attenuated” treatment.
Essentially, this type of treatment, prevents physical growth and keeps Ashley in her physical child-like state. Her parents made the argument that Ashley could be more easily cared for in this state. Ashley could be moved easily from place to place and she’ll have a better opportunity to interact with other family members.
More discussion is taking place on the family’s blog.