How far do parental rights reach?

You may or may not be familiar with the story of Katie Thorpe, a 15 year old who was born with cerebral palsy. Katie’s Mum is so distressed by the thought of her daughter menstruating that she wants to have her daughters womb removed to avoid any ‘further indignity’ for her daughter.

I find this alarming. For a whole heap of reasons. Not least because there is no medical necessity for it. The underlying reasoning of the Mother appears to be little more than a maternal inconvenience. I know this is a delicate topic, but not to put too fine a point on it, I presume that Katie’s bowels are still intact despite her regularly passing bowel movements? Can it really be any more undignified to care for her daughters naturally functioning menstruating body than to attend to her toilet needs?

According to the linked article, Katie’s Mum has also asked a surgeon to remove Katie’s appendix so as to avoid any possibilty of appendicitus at any point during her daughters lifetime….well heck, why not remove katie’s ears so as to avoid ear ache, her lungs so as to avoid lung disease….or maybe her heart, to avoid the possibility of a cardiac?

What on earth is going to be left of the girl if her Mum has her way?

And I’m not even getting started on a persons right to being open to life, even if through some medical or mental incapacity, they are unable to receive the blessing of a child.

Lord, have Mercy!

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13 Responses to How far do parental rights reach?

  1. AutumnRose says:

    I really disagree here, Ukok. Please read this article here: http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=487155&in_page_id=1879&in_a_source= I was in no doubt as to the genuine intentions of the Mother, and certainly felt that to say she merely wanted rid of periods as they are ‘inconvenient’ to be totally at odds with her years of utter dedication in looking after her daughter. Her sacrifice and love is admirable, and an example to all Christians, everywhere. I know I certainly haven’t ‘parented’ to the degree Alison Thorpe has, and I back her decision because I truly believe she has made it in compassion, out of love for her child and a desire to reduce any more pain and distress in her life.

    Tbh, I don’t think any of us are qualified to throw any stones in her direction, unless we too have shared her experience. I support her 100%.

    AR xx

    [I have posted some hopefully helpful mushroom links on my blog in response to your comment, btw 🙂 ]

  2. Jennifer says:

    I agree with you Ukok. I did read that article posted and the mother wants it done to prevent pain and suffering the girl may have with her menstrual cycle.

    I cannot agree with surgery before something happens.

    While it’s being done take not only the appendix but the gallbladder, a kidney, hook up a colostomy and ilestomy…you never know…it may prevent pain and suffering in the future related to those problems.

    It’s just ethically questionable. If she has the right to do this to prevent pain and suffering did she have that right when she was pregnant. Euthanasia? It is just too fine of a line and I don’t think it is up to us to decide that.

    I must say that I am not casting stones. I will not judge that woman because that is God’s job.

    I will pray that the mother does what is right and what God wants.

  3. Therese says:

    AR, I don’t think saying that something shouldn’t happen is throwing a stone at them. I haven’t had a disabled child like this but I still think that she is going over the line having her daughter’s womb taken out. I agree that she looks to be a very devoted mother but I still think that she has made a wrong decision. I wonder if this is going to have long term consequences for her daughter? I am pretty sure this would affect her health in some way in the future.

  4. AutumnRose says:

    I do think that to suggest the Mum is doing it for her own convenience, and to “have her way” could be the verbal equivalent of casting stones, but I also concede that it was most likely not Ukok’s intention to come across as such.

    I apologise if my strong feelings have come across as attacking in writing 😕

  5. ukok says:

    AR,

    I appreciate that you hold a different opinion on this and you are very welcome to comment to that affect. But I’m not throwing stones, simply blogging my own opinion.

    This issue has absolutely nothing to do with whether she is or isn’t a fabulous example of maternal virtue. I applaud anyone who raises a child with such incapacitating disabilities, but I don’t have to agree with the choices that the carer makes.

    Quite apart from this, while the mother says she doesn’t want her daughter to suffer pain and confusion….how on earth is she going to explain to her daughter why she is inflicting an uneccessary major surgical proceedure on her daughter with the possibility of post-operative problems?

    Here are just a small section of the problems that one can suffer from after a hyserectomy

    http://www.findings.net/suproblems.html

    and

    http://www.angelfire.com/fl/endohystnhrt/1.html

    and

    http://www.healthandage.com/Home/gm=0!gc=29!l=7!gid7=634;jsessionid=889EFACE073625E015E7970DAB6B0900

  6. Unless the womb is diseased there is no reason to take it out. Not to mention that recent medical findings suggest that a hysterectomy does affect a woman’s hormones. It had been thought that only the ovaries do that but the whole system works together. Yes, the ovaries are more hormonally sensitive but the uterus does play a part.

  7. AutumnRose says:

    I understand the after-effects of hysterectomy, having just had one! I am very lucky in that I have experienced very few of the problems listed, despite having had the most radical form of surgery. A simple vaginal hysterectomy, which without disease present is the option I guess they would choose, which would have much fewer side effects. But I am not a medical person, and so cannot fully discuss this from an informed pov, I admit. I write more from my gut feeling than anything else, which is perhaps not always the wisest motivation!

    Yes, of course there are down sides to having any kind of surgery, I can see that, but I can also see where the Mother is coming from, and as the sole 24/7 carer of a baby in an adult’s body, I do think her thoughts and feelings have to be taken into consideration, which I’m certain they will be. Katie cannot speak for herself, and I don’t think Alison would choose any option which would harm her uneccesarily. I would not like to be in her shoes, tbh.

    The appendectomy is probably best performed at the same time, as the appendix is a useless non-functioning part of the body which can prove to be fatal. To take that a step further and talk about removing vital/sensory organs is an irrelevant digression from the main issue, I believe. But of course you will be stating your opinion on your blog, Ukok…I would be surprised otherwise!

    God bless! I didn’t mean to ‘argue’, I will leave it at that, I didn’t expect anyone to agree with me really 🙄

    AR xxx

  8. ukok says:

    AR,

    I don’t think you are being argumentative 🙂

    I know that you have had a hysterectomy, but I’m sure that even you will admit that this girl is considerably younger and there really is no preparing her for, or explanation of the removal of her womb. At our age it might be necessary for some medical reason, but no medical reason exists in this case. There doesn’t seem to be a strong reason. If there is one, then I’ve yet to hear it.

    Both the mother and the daughter will be in my prayers.

    God Bless you 🙂

  9. Scott says:

    I am at a complete loss, to be honest. part of it is because I am wiped out tired, but part of it it because I cannot even begin to imagine what life must be like to the family, for Katie. I know I had a hard time handling a perfectly healthy boy, so handling a girl like Katie seems impossible to me. I guess you deal with what God gives you.

    I know I/we are blessed with Ian being healthy, and occasionally, I try to remember not to take that for granted. I simply am unable to come up with anything that makes complete sense to me. If it were me, I don’t know if I would want to have that surgery, but I cannot suggest what would be right from my perspective. Is that a cop out?? lol

  10. ukok says:

    Scott,

    I don’t think it makes you a cop-out. If you haven’t been in the situation yourself, you’re not obligated to have a response one way or the other. For me, I don’t need to be in a situation to know that it is morally, ethically and spiritually, not to mention, medically, wrong.

    But then, I’m an opinionated kind of girl!

  11. AutumnRose says:

    “For me, I don’t need to be in a situation to know that it is morally, ethically and spiritually, not to mention, medically, wrong.

    But then, I’m an opinionated kind of girl!”

    At least you’re honest enought to admit it! 😉

    I have thought a bit more about this, and decided that I have no right to decide whether Alison Thorpe is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’…that is not for me to judge…but whatever she and the (experienced and capable) Doctor choose to do I would support. My opinion is merely just that…an opinion.

    AR xx

  12. Joyce says:

    I was watching Fox News this morning and they reported on a middle school in Philadelphia whose school board passed a resolution 10 – 2 allowing birth control pills to be distributed to girls without the consent of parents.

  13. Joyce says:

    I was wrong. It is in Maine, not Philadelphia. The school plans to allow birth control to be given out to girls as young as 11!

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