An article posted to the St. Albert Gazette explains how the family of a 13-year old foster child, who died shortly after leaving foster care, is seeking funding and payments for a lawyer to represent them in an inquiry into her death. The inquiry is meant to shed light on the girl’s death, with the aim of preventing further foster-care related injury or death.
Samantha Martin died in December 2006 after collapsing from an apparent heart attack. The inquiry is supposed to determine what caused the girl’s cardiac arrest.
Martin lived in foster care for most of her life; she was born with a rare chromosomal disorder and the government insisted the Martin family place her there to receive the necessary medical supports.
The WG article makes the divide between proponents and opponents look far smaller than reality to make the controversy itself look far less grave than it actually is.
It notes at the beginning of the article that the group members share the views about profound disabilities as below.
1) They are concerned that people with profound disabilities are devalued.
2) They believe more investment in medical and social services is priority.
3) They think societal attitudes toward people with profound disabilities should be improved.
4) They also think that parents of profoundly disabled children should be “afforded respect and considerable deference in making the complex and difficult decisions unique to their child’s care.”
They can’t share the first three views, because opponents’ point is that the rationale of growth attenuation is incompatible with these concerns. Its rationale discriminates and devalues children with profound disabilities. Continue reading →
The WG article explains that the group was assembled to “discuss the ethics of growth attenuation in greater depth and develop practical guidance for health professionals. “ So, it was the purpose of assembling the group to develop practical guidance for health professionals, from the beginning.
I have some questions about this.
1) Where is the urgent need to develop any guidance for growth attenuation, which is not a therapeutic treatment? Continue reading →
At the beginning of the article, the authors are not very honest in what they write about the 2006 Gunther & Diekema paper.
1. The WG article writes that Gunther & Diekema “offered an ethical justification for growth attenuation.” No they didn’t. How could they do that without giving any details of the “special” ethics committee that had reviewed the case or its discussion?
2. According to the WG article, Gunther & Diekema cited easier care for parents as the benefit of the growth attenuation. And “the parents believed” that it would lead to increased participation to social and recreational activities for Ashley, the WG article says Gunther & Diekema wrote back in 2006. No, they didn’t. Continue reading →