The papers thesis is centered around the fact that Ashley parents have already committed to providing her with the most beneficial care possible, such that they dad the choice and the commitment to care for her themselves, and therefore, they would have no gain in suddenly taking the easy road, over the road that would be better for her. In support of this premise, I will argue that the adverse effect that continued biological development could potentially have on Ashley health.
I will reiterate the benefits that would result from the completion of her procedure, and how her benefit from this would far outweigh an added convenience on the part of her parents. I will also argue the opinion that Ashley parents must be held as expansible for a decision making process that Ashley herself will never be able to take control of, due to her limitations. Briefly I will counter with the point that the innovative nature of the “Ashley Treatment” could pose unknown issues in the future, simply because it is so new.
Finally, I will conclude that because Ashley parents have already shown that their intentions are pure, and for their daughters benefit, that their motivations in this case should not be taken in to question. A parents’ decisions concerning their children will shape the life of both parties indefinitely in the future. What school should the child go to? Should I really put the effort in to serving natural foods or home cooked meals?
Is this Just a phase they’re going through, or should I seek out help for them? In keeping with these thoughts, the decisions that a parent makes concerning their child should never be taken lightly. If a parent has been adamant in choosing the course that would best benefit their child, for all the years of that child’s life, is it plausible that they would have a complete change of heart, and suddenly try to sabotage the child’s future, simply for chance at convenience?
That is the accusation against the parents of young Ashley. Ashley, as stated in Case Study #1 5 (which is the source of all references to Ashley, her parents, and her condition,) is “a severely retarded,”(713,) young girl, whose parents have elected to have her undergo a life altering treatment in order to avoid further complications with her condition, among other things, in the future.
Ashley parents have shown, by warrant of their past actions, that they have always held Ashley best interests in mind, and should thereby not have their motives questioned simply because the their decisions regarding her health currently seem outlandish. In order to support this premise, an explanation of the treatment as well as the ways in which Ashley should benefit from it will be provided. After that the difficulties that would happen as a result of a lack of treatment will be given.
Finally, it will be explained why it is that Ashley parents are more qualified to make such difficult decisions, in opposition to the average outsider looking in on their situation. Briefly, potential unforeseen risks of this procedure will be concocted to instill a ensue of caution, and argue against the main point. The works of Emmanuel Kant, as explained by Nora O’Neill will be used throughout this paper to help explain various reasoning. According to Case Study #1 5, Ashley has a brain condition that caused her to be unable to develop mentally beyond the age of three months.
As a result she will be, “unable to talk, walk, sit up, turnover, or eat without assistance. “(p. 713. ) At the age of nine, Ashley parents, after conferring with various doctors and specialists, decided to try a procedure dubbed the, “Ashley This procedure includes, estrogen therapy to stunt the girl’s growth, removal of her breast buds to prevent breast maturation, and hysterectomy to prevent the discomfort of menstruation, and the risk of pregnancy. “(p. 713. The case study goes on to explain some of the reasons Ashley parents gave to Justify this to the public as being in Ashley best interests, things including but not limited to helping to maintain her current boss, 4’5” fugue, which would in turn enable them to be able to hold her in their arms, move her around with continued ease, transport her around outdoors, as well as on trips, and tat her in a standard bathtub rather than a specialty one. However, the result of this decision and its reasons by the public has not necessarily been pleasant.
Some go so far as to accuse Ashley parents of having this procedure done, purely out of interest for their own future convince, and not really for her health. In accordance with Kantian ethics however, be can assume that this is not the truth, thanks in part to his “Formula of the End in Itself. “(O’Neill 45. ) In keeping with this line of reasoning, with parents who want the best for their child, the child would be used, “never simply s a means, but always at the same time as an end. “(O’Neill 45. The answer to the accusation is made simple by Cant’s reasoning, “We Just have to check that the act we have in mind will not use anyone as a mere means, and, if possible, that it will treat other persons as ends in themselves. “(O’Neill 46. ) In all honesty, this procedure should be highly looked upon for individuals with Ashley condition. Her quality of life, low as it is to begin with, will be considerable higher, for longer, now that she will not continue to grow in a biological since. With the onset of teenage hormones who knows what could have resulted.
Surely with her absolute lack of physical activity, she would have gained and inordinate amount of weight. Her parents would have to attend to her menstrual cycle. She would probably be extremely moody, considering the amount of hormones raging around with in her body, with no semblance of release in site. The biggest point that should be made though, is that Ashley is a young woman who, before certain levels of medical advancement, would never have seen more than a few birthdays, if that many.
If she is alive right now because of deiced intervention, then what right does anybody have to claim that any more is too much, “As our control over the means of ending and presenting human life has increased, analogous dilemmas have arisen in many areas. “(O’Neill 50. ) The final point in support of the initial thesis, is that Ashley parents have been committed to doing right by her, for her whole life, nine years, and if they were really, if ever out to gain convenience from the situation, they would have never taken on the responsibility of caring for her after her original diagnosis.
That is the point too, hey voluntarily took on this responsibility, and all of the heartache and troubling decisions that would have to be made, because it was what was most beneficial for the little girl, whom they care for despite her flaws. Kant views humans as “the bearers of rational life,” (O’Neill 49. ) It could be inferred then, that as rational creatures, we should be expected to take upon ourselves the responsibility of making choices for those who cannot.
To use others as a mere means to an end implies non- consent, which is typically categorized by acts of deceit and/or coercion. However, Ashley can in no way give her consent, on any issue, even when she is at an age when you would typically deem a person able to make decisions for themselves. Therefore, if we argue that a lack of consent on her part means that something should not be done or is unacceptable, then that can be expanded upon to say that she doesn’t consent to be feed or bathed.
However, we know that these are things that she needs to be as healthy as she can be, and to survive. So how is the argument behind the “Ashley Treatment,” any more or less legitimate anything else? The fact is that nobody who follows Kantian ethics, “will not cause harms that the can foresee without this being reflected in their intentions. “(O’Neill 49. ) By that note, the worst of what you could say about Ashley parents in this regard, is that they were taking a calculated risk.
To that end of course, the opposite argument can be made as well. It can be said that Kantian ethic is flawed in that is, “only assess intentional acts. “(O’Neil 48. ) Similarly it, “concentrates on the intention to the neglect of the results. “(O’Neill, 48. ) In this line of thinking, it could be said, that despite what were truly the best of their intentions, they could very well have damaged their daughter to a larger extent than she already was, without yet realizing it.
At the end of the day however, the right choice was made given the options, and they should not be persecuted for having to make the best of what is truly a horrible situation to be in. If they were never willing to take these risks, their daughter could quite possibly have Ben died years ago. A parent who has shown enough wisdom concerning their child in the past, to be considered a good parent, should not then e questioned and accused the moment someone does not agree with their choices whole-heartedly.