"SEATTLE - The doctor at the center of a controversial procedure which stunted the growth of a severely disabled girl
has committed suicide.Dr. Daniel F. Gunther died from toxic asphyxia from inhaling car exhaust, said Greg Hewett of the King County Medical Examiner's Office. His time of death was listed as 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 30. The 49-year-old was a pediatric endocrinologist at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle and an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.
In 2004, Gunther and his colleague Dr. Douglas S. Diekema performed a hysterectomy, removed the breast tissue and started hormone treatment to permanently halt the growth of a 6-year-old disabled girl so her parents could continue to care for her at home. The doctors wrote about the procedure, which was performed at Children's Hospital, in the October 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine."
The girl, identified only as Ashley, had feeding problems shortly after birth and showed major developmental delays. Her doctors diagnosed her with severe brain damage and don't know what caused it. Her condition has left her in an infant state, unable to sit up, hold a toy or talk. Her mother called Ashley her 'pillow angel' and said the procedure kept her a more manageable and portable size that would allow her family to continue to care for her at home."
I remember the debates we had here about this procedure, and thought you guys would want to know about Dr. Gunther's suicide.