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Operation on Pillow Angel Violated Laws, Says US Advocacy Group

r needs. Her cognitive function was the equivalent of that of an infant, unlikely to ever change." Family members call her their "pillow angel."

In 2004, when Ashley was 6, her uterus and breast buds were removed, and she received a high-dose estrogen therapy. As a result, Ashley was frozen as a child. She attained her full growth at 4 feet 5 inches and 75 pounds, with no reproductive capacity.

Ashley's parents say that compassion, not convenience of care, was their motive.

Writing on their blog, her parents said, "Ashley's smaller and lighter size makes it more possible to include her in the typical family life and activities that provide her with needed comfort, closeness, security and love: meal time, car trips, touch, snuggles, etc."

In an updated entry on their blog they reiterated that "given Ashley's developmental state and prognosis. voluntary procreation was not applicable to her case and will never be."

"Sterilization is not the intent of the 'Ashley Treatment,' but a byproduct of it," they wrote, adding that while they support laws protecting against involuntary sterilization, they believe the law is "too broadly based" to "distinguish between people who are or can become capable of decision-making and those who have a grave and unchanging medical condition such as Ashley."

Some disability rights advocates say they believe the Ashley case sends a clear message about the rights of the disabled.

The implementation of the 'Ashley treatment' raises serious concerns about the continuing discrimination faced by people with disabilities - discrimination which is often based in stereotypes about their potential and value as individuals, they say.

Doctors involved in the procedure said that Ashley is doing well in her family's care, which suggests to them it was the right thing to do.

Ashley's parents are devoted to her, Dr. Diekema, a consultant in the entire exerci
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