essay1 - Mark Einsiedel BETH 271 February 9 2010 Dr Hyun...

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

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Mark Einsiedel BETH 271 February 9, 2010 Dr. Hyun The Case of Valerie and Nikolas Emerson Valerie Emerson learned she tested HIV+ while she was pregnant and further tests revealed that her son Nikolas and daughter Tia were also positive. Physicians prescribed the drug AZT for Tia and Valerie painstakingly watched for months as Tia’s health deteriorated until she died just days before her fourth birthday. Valerie attested to the fact that she could tell that “Tia knew she was dying,” but adamantly states that Nikolas shows no signs of this behavior. When physicians prescribed AZT for Nikolas, she initially agreed but later withdrew him from the AZT because of what she believed it had done to Tia. Physicians suggested that Nikolas enroll in a highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) protocol study, but Valerie refused, stating that it was her right to keep him off of drugs that could potentially harm him even more. I believe, as did the courts, that Valerie should continue to be allowed to make future medical decisions on the behalf of her son Nikolas. Valerie should be entitled to make the medical decisions for Nikolas because she has the right to make decisions through informed choice as Nikolas’ surrogate decision maker. In order for Valerie to be allowed to make these decisions, however, she must possess medical decision making capacity. Her medical decision making capacity is proven through three key elements outlined by Brock and Buchanan in Deciding for Others . [1] First, she must have the capacity for communication and understanding. The simple fact that she gave an interview on national television displays her clear ability to communicate and understand. Furthermore, she understands the implications that removing Nikolas from her care could do large scale damage to him. Second, according to Brock and Buchanan, one must have the capacity of reasoning and
Image of page 1

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

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
deliberation. Valerie demonstrates this throughout her interview as she provides explicit reasons she does not want Nikolas on medication and her reasoning shows that she pondered these ideas for some time. Lastly, one must have a stable set of values to fully have medical decision making capacity Brock and Buchanan say. Valerie demonstrates her values, often wearing them right on her sleeve so to say, by adamantly refusing medication for her son because of her strong held belief that it will do more harm than good.
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