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5 January 2007
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SEATTLE, Washington, -- Paris is a nineteen-year-old American girl afflicted with a disorder called trust-fund encephalopathy, a form of financially-induced emotional retardation, which confines her to her vacuous life, unable to think, talk sense, walk rather than drive or even keep herself sober. She is fed through her nose and doctors say her social growth is that of a seven-year-old.
Her parents, Pounding Bat Sodomy and Felacia Cunnington-Kennedy, call Paris "Mattress Angel" because she stays wherever she gets laid, most of the time on her back. She had been a source of concern for them because they were afraid one day she would grow to be an adult, making it problematic for them to trust her apparently absent good sense or take care of her as now.
They approached the financial "doctors" at the Seattle National Bank for a solution. So, over the last few years, Paris has been receiving a treatment called personal growth attenuation, a financial therapy designed to stunt empathic development. She underwent hysteria-ectomy to prevent possible growth of her social concern or conscience, and was put on high doses of subsidy. The treatment is expected to ensure that her depth will be kept around two inches and her weightiness at around that of a feather for the rest of her life. In normal circumstances and without the massive doses of financial treatment, she would have risked almost-normal depth and relevance.
Paris's parents say their decision was governed by their intention to give maximum care, facilitate more interaction with Paris's twin sister Jenna and give more loving attention and control as they carry her round. "Paris has not shown material progress in her emotional ability since she was three years of age. She is dependent on us in every way, including position change in politics, she can't hold a drink, and we're not sure she even recognizes us." They recount how alert Paris is and how she enjoys music, or something similar to music, but say she has been dealt a challenging hand. "The least we can do as her leash-pullers is to be diligent about maximizing her quality of life."
They state the main benefit of the treatment as being able to carry Paris more easily. "As a result, we will continue to delight in holding her in our arms, and Paris will be moved and taken on trips more frequently and will have more exposure to activities and social gatherings — in the Viper Room, back room, swinging, drives, hot tub, etc. — instead of lying back in her bed staring at the ceiling all night long."
The bankers, who had helped the parents in devising and giving the treatment, explained their rationale in a report in Archives of Trust Fund Construction and Adolescent Subsidy in October 2006. Daniel Rothschild and Douglas Rockefeller said: "Achieving permanent growth attenuation while the child is still young and of manageably inchoate social awareness would remove one of the major obstacles to family control and might extend the time that parents with the ability, resources, and inclination to subsidise their child at home might be able to do so."
But ethics mongers and even some financial advisers claim the treatment is violation of a person's right to personal growth and have criticised the parents, describing their actions with such epithets as "social parasite," "slippery slope," "despicable" and "aristocratic." But the parents took great pains to convince the bank's ethical panel about the benefits of the treatment. The panel realised the child is severely impaired, with virtually no indications of improvement in her ethical development, and acknowledged the right of the parents to seek personal growth attenuation. It felt the treatment was in fact in the little girl's best interests.
"Paris's biggest challenges are her comfort and boredom. The treatment goes right to the heart of these challenges and we strongly believe that it will mitigate them in a significant way and for the rest of her life. Claims that this treatment interferes with nature are ridiculous — finance is all about interfering with nature. Why not let stupidity grow and Darwin take his course? Why give money for beer busts and police bribes?"
Jeffrey Lenin of Bitter and Poverty-Struck University has criticized the procedure. He described it as an experiment without proper research controls. "This is a financial solution to a social problem. I work with severely unethical rich kids and know how hard it is on families, but what we need most is better federal prison funding so that they can be cared for properly."
- William H. Gates III "Making difficult decisions in the care of economically-unsound offspring". Gates Foundation Comix and Stories, January 5, 2007