Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu
Mon Oct 8, 2007 12:48pm EDT
LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A British mother's desire for her teenage daughter, who has severe cerebral palsy, to have a hysterectomy is being opposed by a leading disability organization which says it is unethical.
Alison Thorpe, from Essex in southern England, wants her 15-year-old daughter Katie to have the operation to prevent her suffering the long-term discomfort of periods.
She told television's Sky News that her daughter should have the operation to protect her from the "pain, discomfort and indignity" of periods.
"It's not a decision we took lightly," she said.
Katie cannot walk or talk and understands little of what is said to her, making it difficult for her to give consent to the operation.
But Scope, an organization that supports people who have cerebral palsy, caused by damage to the motor control centers of the young developing brain, said the operation was not necessary and would be traumatic.
Executive Director Andy Rickell said he recognized the difficulty for parents.
But he added: "It is very difficult to see how this kind of invasive surgery, which is not medically necessary and which will be very painful and traumatic, can be in Katie's best interests.
"This case raises fundamental ethical issues about the way our society treats disabled people and the respect we have for disabled people's human and reproductive rights.
"Scope is concerned that doctors are supporting parents in this case," he added in a statement.
It opposes attempts by Thorpe to seek medical consent for the operation and is considering what action to take.
Rickell called on the government to provide the funding and support needed for parents "so they do not feel pressured to resort to such drastic measures".
He also called on the government to introduce additional legal safeguards, including the right to an independent advocate for any child in such a situation.
"We want to see a clear framework put in place for dealing with ethical decisions of this complexity, which places the rights, and best interests, of disabled children at the heart of any decision," he said.
Thorpe has requested a referral by her doctor to have the operation carried out at a local hospital in Essex.
Mid Essex Hospital Services said in a statement it had received a referral but that no decision had been made on any treatment.