Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ashley X Update from WPAS

CNN News Story Here: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/05/08/ashley.ruling/index.html (Thanks to Trevor Holmes for catching it!)

Seattle Times Story Here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003698112_webchildrens08m.html (Thanks to Steve Drake!)

From WPAS:

To the disability community nationwide:

As many of you know, the Washington Protection and Advocacy System (soon to be Disability Rights Washington - DRW), opened an investigation in January 2007 into the "Ashley Treatment" interventions and the role of Seattle's Children's Hospital. Today, we are releasing the findings of that investigation.

The view the full report, complete with appendix items, please visit our website www.DisabilityRightsWA.org .

You should know:

1. Children's Hospital violated Washington state law in performing the hysterectomy portion of the "Ashley Treatment " which resulted in the violation of Ashley's constitutional and common law rights;

2. The Hospital has acknowledged the violation and accepted full responsibility;

3. The Hospital has entered into an enforceable, written five (5) year agreement with WPAS to take corrective action and other proactive steps; and

4, We have included a list of next steps in the Executive Summary that we hope will be a part of a nationwide collaborative effort of the disability community that will result in Ashley being the last person to receive "treatment" named for her.

Seattle Children's Hospital acknowledged the following in our five (5) year, enforceable agreement:

"Children’s has received and reviewed the WPAS report on Ashley and the treatment she received. In general, Children’s accepts the WPAS report. Specifically, Children’s agrees with the finding in the report that Ashley’s sterilization proceeded without a court order in violation of Washington State law, resulting in violation of Ashley’s constitutional and common law rights. Children’s deeply regrets its failure to assure court review and a court order prior to allowing performance of the sterilization and is dedicated to assuring full compliance with the law in any future case."

Some of you may think having a court order is a procedural matter easily overcome. That is not the case. We encourage you to carefully read the legal requirements section of our report to gain a full understanding of this critical safeguard of the rights of children for whom this treatment may be proposed.

If you are wondering about the applicable law in your state the first appendix section includes contacts from many states who have agreed to share their knowledge of the law in their states.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Mark Stroh, Executive Director
Washington Protection & Advocacy System*

*Washington Protection and Advocacy System (WPAS) is changing its name! Effective June 2007, our agency will be known as Disability Rights Washington (DRW). All contact information including email addresses will remain the same until further notice.