Offering Treatment Alternatives to Children for the Sake of their Caregivers

In this session, we will discuss the ethical implications of offering medical procedures to children with disabilities which make caring for them easier.  In particular, we will examine the controversial “Ashley Treatment,” which was offered to a child with severe developmental disabilities for the purpose of improving her quality of life.  Towards the end of the session, we will broaden the discussion to consider implicit biases inherent in shared decision-making when conducted between medical professionals and surrogates.


Ira Bedzow, M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York Medical College


Attenuating Growth in Children with Profound Developmental Disability

The Ashley Treatment Ethical Analysis

The Ashley Treatment Case