Hoo boy.

This article will probably get a few people angry.

It’s about a 9-year-old girl with a mental age of about three months.  Her parents have convinced doctors to surgically alter her to keep her a child forever.

Hmm.  Forced eternal childhood… doesn’t sound pretty to me.  Though I suppose at least the girl in the real-life case lacks the ability to understand her situation.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Hoo boy.

  1. fizzgig_bites

    Not that I agree with the parents, but I can understand them. A 3-month old is totally dependent on you. I was not prepared for what that meant when I became a mom. I can understand them wanting to keep her smaller and more manageable. I’m not sure I buy into them not wanting her to go through adolescence, but I can understand their reasoning. In the end, don’t criticize them until you have lived in their shoes. I would shoot myself if I had to take care of a 3-month old indefinitely. I barely managed it with a 18lb 3-month old knowing that it would be over soon.

    When you first become a parent, the mother who packs her kids in a car and drives into a lake sounds like a perfectly sane thing to do to.

    As for how the kid feels, I doubt she feels anything. A three month old is able to eat, shit, feel pain, and beam a smile at her parent’s face. That’s really about it.

  2. trunkbutt

    This doesn’t make me angry at all. What the parents are doing will ultimately mean the difference between having to put their daughter into some sort of potentially half-assed group home for vegetables and being able to care for her at home for the remainder of their natural lives.

  3. trunkbutt

    I should state, however, that I would never support taking such action against the will of a self-aware individual, no matter how disabled. At the developmental age of a three month old, their daughter does not have the ability to individualize herself. She does not have a sense of physical autonomy.

  4. heathrow

    I don’t think I would make the same decision, but I can understand why they did so. They are trying to ensure they can always take care of her.

  5. danasdream

    I had severe trouble with this when I read the original article. While I sympathize with the parents, the surgery will cause intense pain and, to my knowledge, isn’t something that has been done a lot. I understand the breast issue due to the prevalence of cancer. Some of it almost seems like sterilization, which was often done to mentally disabled people in the mid 20th century, and which was barbaric and wrong.

  6. loucheroo

    If given a choice between being able to care for mychild myself or having to put said child into a home to be man-handled by whomever is strong enough to lift them… well, they’re not doing this for any selfish reason. It’s because they want the child to be able to stay with them. When a child is mentally disabled to the point this child is, the kid can do nothing for him- or herself. I have trouble carrying around my kids now. I do it, but it’s only an occasional thing — when they’re not feeling well or when they’ve fallen asleep in the car. My kids weigh all of 42 lbs each. I can’t imagine even carrying around someone my size, much less someone 8 inches taller and 20 lbs heavier than I…. especially not on a constant basis. I would assume their logic is that the child will be a more contented “three month old” if she’s with the people who love her and with whom she’s familiar… and if that means stunting her growth so they’re able to manage…

    well, i guess i have a different perspective anyway. See, I had an aunt. My grandparents had to put her in a home when she was 5 or so. She was mentally one or two, never to improve… but she was getting bigger and had abnormal strength. When she threw my grandmother across the room during a diaper change… well, there were two other children in the house, one of whom was an infant, and Sharon didn’t understand and would never understand. So they put her in this home, which was very good to her, but it wasn’t family. I would guess that they’d have done whatever was necessary to keep their child with them.

    I do agree with the person who said that it shouldn’t be done against someone’s will, but when one is young enough mentally that all they do mentally is pretty much recognize hunger, recognize love, and they’re just learning how to smile…

    Then again, you and I tend to disagree on quite a few ethical situations so…

  7. gardenwaltz

    the forced childhood is a matter of her mental condition. her size is a relatively trivial matter in comparison.

  8. sylvar

    OK, that actually *does* make sense, and you stated it concisely. Well done!

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