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The Curious Case Of Dax Cowart

1006 words - 5 pages

The concept of autonomy in the medical practice brings many different views. Autonomy is the ability individuals have to be self-governing. In these different views there exist two schools of thought, one is the belief that people are born with the ability to do what they want their body and no organization can tell them what to do with their body, like the government. On the other hand, some people believe that it is more complicated and conditional on mental competency so that person can make rational decisions. However, the majority of people seem to advocate for autonomy. A particular largely uncontroversial discussion arises with the case of Dax Cowart, who had his right to ...view middle of the document...

In the ethics committee we came to the consensus that the physicians should have granted his wish to refuse treatment. We came to this decision because we felt that if a few professional psychiatrist can render him mentally competent than he should be allowed to make his own decisions because it is moral. This is moral because people should be allowed to do what they want with their body, and as Cowart says it is, “the right to control your own body is a right you’re born with…” (Cowart 2). However, this is refuted when that person cannot make rational decisions because that person would be mentally incompetent. People that are mentally incompetent are incapable of making decisions that are in their best interest. We also discussed his mother and how all she cared about is for him to receive treatment which we thought was a bit selfish. This is a typical parental perspective considering that parents do not want to outlive their children. However, she should have sought out what was best for him and what he was going to be happy with and not her. As a group we also felt that he should have received better pain treatment especially since Cowart found out later that they could have done more for his treatment. If someone is in as much pain as he was and when a doctor is confronted with the request to die, that doctor should be doing everything he or she can to bring down the pain.
My decision was that he should not receive the treatment because no matter how you look at it you cannot argue with autonomy as long as that person is competent. However, I did find myself questioning the psychological evaluations because I really do not see how someone in his condition could have been mentally capable even if a professional psychiatrist asserted it. If you think about all that happened...

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