Essay 2 Dax's Case-1 - Introduction In 1973 Dax Cowart was...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Introduction In 1973 Dax Cowart was in an explosion that was the result of an accidental propane gas leak. The explosion left Dax with severe burns over 65 percent of his body including severe damage to his eyes, ears, and hands. To keep Dax alive a regiment of painful lifesaving procedures were immediately implemented. These procedures included intravenous fluid therapies, the insertion of an intertracheal tube, the insertion of catheters, the application of antibacterial drugs to exposed wounds, and the administration of prophylaxes to prevent tetanus and infection. After Dax was stabilized the excruciating pain from his injuries did not stop. The pain from his extensive burns would continue long after his life was no longer in immediate danger, as his body fought to slowly recover. Furthermore, additional frequent and painful treatment was necessary to prevent infection and the deterioration of Dax’s condition, the result of which would be death. The treatment would last a total of fourteen months and from beginning to end, but for brief periods of acquiescence, Dax asked, pleaded, and demanded that the treatments end and he be allowed to die. Even now, despite an arguably successful recovery and, optimistically, happy outcome, Dax maintains that he should have been allowed to die. Dax’s case is unique in that the tragic accident that resulted in Dax’s need for life saving treatment may have been less tragic than the subsequent administration of that treatment. The nature of Dax’s case proves to be a veritable quandary for a multitude of ethical issues. Many of which are beyond the scope of this essay. However, at the heart of Dax’s case is the overarching question regarding the ethical nature of Dax’s treatment. Explicitly, was the treatment and care given to Dax ethically permissible according to the context of his case? In this essay I will argue that the lifesaving treatment that was given to Dax Cowart against his wishes was unethical given the circumstances of his case. Specifically, I will illustrate that Dax was capable of making autonomous decisions regarding his care, that the care Dax received was congruent
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
with what Childress and Campbell (1989) describe as both active and hard paternalism, and that as a result Dax’s autonomy was not properly accounted for in the dialogue of his care. It is reasoned here that these circumstances in conjunction removed Dax from a position of participant to a position of spectator in determinations of his illness, treatment, and care. And that as a result, the treatment that was ultimately implemented to save the life of Dax Cowart was decided upon without adequate regard to Dax’s autonomy and value systems, and was therefore not ethically sound.
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern