Public Release: 

Lawyers and ethicists debate ashley treatment in open forum

Seattle Children's

WHAT: Sponsored by the University of Washington (UW) School of Law and the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, symposium attendees will discuss the ethical and policy implications of limiting growth in children with severe disabilities

WHEN: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


8:30 a.m. Conference Welcome and Introduction to the Symposium
Paul Steven Miller, JD, Director, UW Disability Studies Program, Henry M. Jackson Professor of Law
Benjamin S. Wilfond, MD, Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle Children's Hospital

8:45 a.m. Historical Assumptions Underlying Growth Attenuation in Children with Severe Disabilities
Jeffrey P. Brosco, MD, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami

9:15 a.m. A Conversation about the Seattle Children's Case
How did this request unfold and how did the disability community respond to the case?
Charles Cowen, MD, Genetics and Developmental Medicine, Seattle Children's Hospital (Moderator)
Doug Diekema, MD, MPH, Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle Children's Hospital
Emily Rogers, Arc of Washington
Corinna Fale, People First (Discussant)
David Woodrum, MD, Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, Seattle Children's Hospital (Discussant)

10:45 a.m. Philosophical Perspectives About Growth Attenuation
How do concepts such as normality, dignity, convenience, intervention and naturalness guide our evaluation of parental desires and requests to influence the growth of their children?
Joanne Woiak, PhD, Department of History, UW (Moderator)
Anita Silvers, PhD, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Erik Parens, PhD, The Hastings Center, Garrison, NY
Sara Goering, PhD, Department of Philosophy and Program on Values in Society, UW

1:30 p.m. Balancing Interests - Parental Decision-making, Doctors and the Community
How do parents and doctors negotiate health-care decisions for their children with disabilities? How does the social context influence such decisions? What is the impact of such decisions on communities? What is the role of the disabilities community?
Kathleen Watson, RN, PhD, Center on Human Development and Disability, UW (Moderator)
Joanne O'Neill, RN, Arc of King County
Ted Carter, MD, Pulmonology, Seattle Children's Hospital
Alice Domurat Dreger, PhD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

3 p.m. Institutional, Legal and Policy Responses and the Impact on Families and Communities
What are the strengths and limitations of ethics committees and judicial review/guardian ad litem in providing safeguards for growth attenuation, and what is the impact of these approaches on families and the disability community?
Sherrie Brown, JD, EdD, Center for Human Development and Disability, UW (Moderator)
Greg Loeben, PhD, Midwestern University, Phoenix, AZ
David Carlson, JD, Washington Protection and Advocacy System
Ed Holen, Washington State Developmental Disabilities Council

4:15 p.m. Closing Observations and Conclusions
Denise Dudzinski, PhD, MTS, Department of Medical History and Ethics, UW

WHERE: UW School of Law, William H. Gates Hall
Magnusson-Jackson Moot Court Room 138

To watch the symposium web cast, please visit the following link on Wednesday, May 16 after 8 a.m.:


This national symposium will provide a thoughtful discussion on the issue of restricting growth in children with profound cognitive disabilities, focusing on the role and limits of parental decision-making, the response of health-care providers to such requests, and the role of community stakeholders, including the disability community. While the primary focus of the symposium is on growth attenuation in children with severe disabilities, it may be useful to compare this to other interventions in children, to appreciate the similarities and differences.


Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.