Why these parents removed their daughter’s uterus
Charley Hooper's parents removed her uterus, stunted her growth and they might even have her breast buds removed. Read below why they made this decision for ten-year-old Charley
Would you remove your daughter’s uterus?
Jenn and Mark Hooper had their daughter’s uterus removed and even had doctors treat her with hormones to stunt her growth. She is now 4 feet and 43 inches tall and weighs only 53 pounds. This will be her height and age for the rest of her life.
Charley is so severely disabled, she’s “unabled,” says her mum
Why is Charley like that, you ask? Her brain did not get enough oxygen when she was born, leading to permanent brain damage.
Charley can’t support her head, see, communicate and move. She has to be carried around. She used to have seizures.
Her family tries to decode what she likes from yawns, moans and smiles–but they can never be sure. They don’t know if she yawns because she likes the sunlight on her face or if it’s just a reflex because of nerves she can’t control.
What exactly did they do?
In a highly-controversial and hotly-debated medical practice known as growth attenuation, the Hoopers had Charley’s body go into puberty and remain there through hormone injections.
Reports say that within days of the hormone injections, her seizures stopped.
When she turned six, Charley’s parents had her uterus removed and hormonally altered her growth. Why?
They were afraid that menstrual cramps would hurt too much. If she were to grow too tall or too big, how would they carry her around?
The medical board in New Zealand, their home country, allowed them to have the procedure done abroad.
Where is Charley now?
The AP caught up with the Hoopers in a recent trip to Bali, Indonesia, where Charley was with her whole family.
“We don’t expect her to live forever. We don’t want her to live forever. Who wants this life forever?” Jenn relates. “So we give her the best life we can while we’ve got her.”
However, medical professionals say the situation is more complicated in an ethical sense that it looks.
Margaret Nygren, CEO of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, says the treatment is more to benefit the lives of those near and dear to the patient, rather than the patient themselves.
She said: ‘The idea behind growth attenuation is that you’re keeping someone small for the convenience of those around them, not so that the individual is able to have the most fulfilling life, and I think that’s the crux of the ethical issue. ‘Would you ever want this kind of treatment done to you without your consent or knowledge? And if the answer is no, then why would one want to do that to someone else?’
What do you think?