I also learn from my mistakes. I don't like having to learn that way, of course -- who does? But the Buddhist in me often welcomes these types of negative experiences; I know full well that I'll find something of value and grow from the experience.
Which brings me to the topic of this post, which has to do with one of the arguments I made in defense of the Ashley Treatment. In my article, Helping Families Care for the Helpless, I stated,
"...the treatments will endow her with a body that more closely matches her cognitive state – both in terms of her physical size and bodily functioning. The estrogen treatment is not what is grotesque here. Rather, it is the prospect of having a full-grown and fertile woman endowed with the mind of a baby."This quote was strewn across the media soon after the Ashley X story broke. While it made for a provocative sound bite, I have since changed my mind about this particular argument.
Now, that said, I want to reiterate that I am still absolutely in support of the Ashley Treatment; what I am retracting here is this specific line of reasoning.
It is inaccurate to suggest that certain minds go with certain bodies. As a proponent of neurodiversity and morphological freedoms, I am in favour of the notion that different minds can be mixed and matched with different bodies. Moreover, it is arbitrary and inappropriate to suggest that that a particular psychological state 'belongs' with a particular morphology. Thus, the suggestion that Ashley's body should be modified such that it better 'matches' her cognitive state (which is that of a 3-month old) is unjustified.
Other arguments in support of the Ashley Treatment, such as increased levels of comfort, safety and health, are clearly more relevant to the issue, as are such factors as personhood considerations and caregivers' rights.
Thanks go out to Anne Corwin and James Hughes for engaging me in this discussion.