Individual objection to medical treatment because of religion reasons has a historical root that started as early as in 1800s in England, when a sect named Peculiar people faced trial for continuous death of children because of objection of medication. In their medications, doctors argue that they highly respect individual’s religious belief, but they do not stop medication that can save life. In the medication of children, parents are important partners in the medication process. They are closely involved in making important decisions concerning the kind of medication their children should get.
Tyrell Dueck diagnosis with bone cancer at 14 years was awful. After receiving chemotherapy for two years, the doctors informed Tyrell and his parents that further chemotherapy will mean amputation of Tyrell Dueck. This was an important consideration of informing the concerned parties for a possibility of imputing Tyrell Dueck legs as the sure treatment for the cancer. This information was important to give Tyrell and his parents an opportunity to discuss about the issue. However, instead of Tyrell and his parents embracing the doctors’ recommendation of amputating Tyrell legs, the parents supported Tyrell’s decision to halt the treatment and seek alternative therapy that entailed leaving Tyrell Dueck at the mercy of God. The doctors went to court to challenge Tyrell decision of terminating Tyrell treatment. However, the lawsuit was short lived because the doctors terminated the court proceedings when they noticed that the cancer had spread to the lungs. The decision of Tyrell and support of his parents to stop the amputation of Tyrell legs as the sure treatment was wrong. In instances of illness, the right that should precedence is the treatment of the patient that will result to healing. Therefore, Tyrell Dueck right for receiving treatment through amputation of the legs should have taken precedence in this scenario (Guido, 2009).
A child right to treatment is imperative. Children should get appropriate medication regardless of whose decisions are paramount. However, in many situations this is not the case. Many children do not get proper treatment because their religious beliefs take precedence. Religious objections to treatment have caused deaths of many children, in some instances calling for government intervention. A child and especially a child aged 14 years should get guidance in making informed decision concerning important issues about their lives. Various stakeholders should take part in helping children make appropriate decision. For health issues, parents, religious leaders, teachers and doctors should join hands and assists children make informed choices. In this case, the doctors’ decision to challenge the decision made by Tyrell and supported by his parents was right in ensuring proper medication for Tyrell. In addition, doctors should explain to children about possible medical interventions and advise children accordingly about the consequences of the various options available.
This is important in helping children make informed choices about their health concern, since they are the greatest beneficiary or victims of the decision, arrived at. Children should get an opportunity to propose what is right for them without their action considered unethical. Appropriate stakeholders should get guidance from the egoism theory, which defines right and wrong depending on the consequence of the decision or action to one’s self in helping children make proper decisions. An egoism person will determine a decision or an action as right if it brings more good on her/his physical, mental or poignant happiness. In this case, according to the egoism theory Tyrell parents were wrong in supporting Tyrell decision to stop medication since it ended up in the cancer spreading to the lungs. Similarly, the utilitarian theory, which stress the utility or the overall good that accompany any decision or action does not support the right for children to make a choice that will ruin their life as in the case of Tyrell. Children should have an opportunity to air their views concerning important issues affecting them, but should not have the right to impose wrong propositions (Trevino& Brown, 2004).
If I had a chance to make a proper ruling on Tyrell Dueck condition, before the cancer spreading to lungs, I would have engaged other stakeholders close to Tyrell such as religious leaders, teachers and request them to persuade Tyrell to continue with the medication as advised by the doctor. In addition, I could have engaged a professional councilor to visit Tyrell and give him moral support that will enable him accept the amputation process and accept to live positively without the legs. This was an appropriate manner in helping Tyrell Dueck in receiving proper medication to save his life. Amputation of Tyrell Dueck legs could have stopped the spread of the cancer to the lungs and causing Tyrell Dueck succumbs to cancer (Hosmer, 1991).
Parents should be responsible in helping children make informed decisions pertaining to all areas of their life. Parents should entertain different views from important personnel such as doctors, teachers and religious leaders and then come up with the best decision/action concerning the right choice or action for their children. They should stop from being biased and, instead be logical in making wise choices for their children. In instances where children are aged to engage in decision-making process, parents should advise the children accordingly and assist them make informed choices about their actions/choices. However, parents should stop from embracing children’ decision that are wrong. If Tyrell parents accommodated the doctors’ views, instead of embracing Tyrell’s decision, Tyrell could have continued with medication and the cancer could not have spread to the lungs.
Guido, G. (2009).Legal & Ethical Issues in Nursing (5th ed). New York: Prentice Hall.
Hosmer, L. (1991). The Ethics of Management. Irwin: Homewood, IL.
Trevino, L. & Brown, E. (2004). Managing to Be Ethical: Debunking Five Business Ethics Myths. Academy of Management Executive. 18, 8, 69–81.