Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Forced chemotherapy in a teen: Exploring the ethics

By Ruth Macklin
Dr. Kevin MD blog
Originally posted January 16, 2015

Here is an excerpt:

Exploring the ethics

The legal barrier to respecting Cassandra’s autonomy remains, but the ethics of the case are murky. If this were a one-shot treatment — perhaps painful or uncomfortable, but over quickly — it would be easy to conclude that forced medical treatment would do more good than harm. But that is not clearly the case when the patient has to endure for as long as six months the discomforts of chemotherapy.

In December Cassandra first underwent surgery to install in her chest a port through which the drugs would be administered. State officials took custody of Cassandra and confined her in the hospital, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she has received the forced treatments. Her cell phone was taken away (for a teen, this may be worse than the nausea and vomiting), and the phone in her hospital room was also removed. Her mother has been allowed to visit her in her hospital room, but only with a child welfare worker present. Mother and daughter are not allowed to have contact by phone.

The entire article is here.