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Unformatted text preview: The right to refuse treatment- lecture- 9-28-09 Dax Coward How do you determine whether someone is competent to make their own decisions to continue or refuse treatment At the time of the explosion he asked the emergency medical team not to take him to the hospital to get treatment He was in excruciating pain when it happened He fought in the Vietnam war and knew what happens to burn victims and how they feel He wasnt competent to make a decision when he was first burned and asked for the gun because he was still in shock The burns burned off 2/3 of the skin in his body o All of the fluid was leaking from his body Dr. Baxter didnt take Dax seriously but then he realized that Dax was surprisingly articulate, lucid, clear and rational o Not initially but eventually he became that way and still wanted to refuse treatment Dax told his mother that she could sign consent forms for his treatment when he was at Parkland hospital because his lawyer told him that he had to consent to treatment temporarily while he filed the lawsuit against exon o He had a lawyer that sued exon for the propane gas leak that caused the explosion o Dax let the lawyer settle the lawsuit so that his mother would have some income o After the lawsuit Dax wanted to refuse treatment but the doctors kept on treating him because they would turn to his mother and have her sign the forms o He didnt think that his mother would do things that he didnt want for her to do, he only had her sign the forms when he was clearly incompetent In 1973 when this occurred- he had a 1 in 4 chance of surviving o Today only about 2% of people with his kind of burns die When they stopped treatment then the infections were not contained and his leg got infected again and that is when he was sent to John Seely Hospital Dax had the use of one thumb on his left hand- right arm not usable o Dr. Larson was going to do the surgery anyway even though Dax didnt want him to do anything o Dax told the anesthesiologist and he wouldnt give his consent to be anesthetized and so the anesthesiologist said that he wasnt going to do it o Dr. Larson told Dr. White to go and interview Dax to say that he was incompetent to make his own decisions so that Dr. Larson could do the surgery o Dr. White concluded that Dax wasnt mentally ill or incompetent He said that just because he was on pain medicine doesnt mean that he is not competent o Dax was convinced by someone to agree to have the surgery to have some control of his body It took Dax ten years to recover from the depression he experienced Dax had a great deal of trouble sleeping because he was blind o He checked himself into a psychiatric hospital to help him get on a regular sleep cycle He had started law school at Baylor o He dropped out because he got depressed again and tried to attempt suicide He went to law school at Texas Tech o He had done extremely well- he had to get everything read to him...
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This note was uploaded on 12/24/2009 for the course UGS 303 taught by Professor Foster during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.
- Fall '08