Ashley X Case Summary

1010 Words5 Pages
Since its publication in 2006, the case of Ashley X has become highly publicized and a source of discussion among not only medical professionals and ethics committees, but also the general public. The reason for such controversy is due to the medical interventions requested by the patient’s parents in order to make caring for their daughter with severe encephalopathy easier and to supposedly create a better quality of life for Ashley. Ashley’s cognitive abilities will never allow her to be able to eat on her own, make voluntary movements, and communicate more than showing basic happiness and discomfort. The medical interventions she underwent after beginning early puberty at the age of six and a half includes the removal of breast buds to prevent breast discomfort, a hysterectomy in order to avoid the distress caused by menstruation as well…show more content…
After a medical ethics committee met and discussed the case and reported back to the doctor, the doctor proceeded with the interventions as the parents wished (citation). However, in contrast to the ethics committee and the doctors involved, Dr. Leon Cass, who was previously the chairman of the President’s Council of Bioethics and also the author of “The End of Medicine and the Pursuit of Health,” would disagree with this decision and his view would assert that it is entirely unethical for parents to modify the bodies of their severely disabled female children. According to Dr. Cass’s argument in chapter six of his book Toward a More Natural Science, his view of medicine would strongly disagree with the medical interventions performed on Ashley. To begin, Dr. Cass claims that one of the false goals of medicine is “’pleasure’- that is, gratifying or

More about Ashley X Case Summary

Open Document