Ethics and Minors Rights to Refuse Medical Testing

Topics: Autonomy, Decision making, Ethics Pages: 3 (941 words) Published: March 16, 2012
Case Study 1
Clearly there are legal and ethical issues that exist when it comes to Minors’ rights to refuse medical tests requested by their parents. In the United States, the legal system generally gives complete authority for medical decision making to parents, giving way to ethical issues that arise when caring for mature minors who are refusing medical procedures requested by their parents. In case study 1, the parents are requesting that their teenage daughter Camilla undergo invasive medical testing that she is opposed to. Because Camilla is a mature minor, the most important ethical issues that exist in this case is the violation of Camilla’s right to autonomy and self-determination, and nonmaleficence because she is both psychologically and physically opposed to the genetic testing requested by her parents. The ethical principles that should be used to help guide the care of Camilla, her family, and the healthcare providers involved in this case are Autonomy and Nonmaleficence. The first ethical principle that should be used in the ethical decision making process is Autonomy. According to Munson, the principle of autonomy can be stated as: “Rational individuals should be permitted to be self-determining, and a violation of autonomy is a violation of our concept of what it is to be a person. And to deny someone autonomy, is to treat that individual as something less than a person” (Munson, 2012, p.900). If Camilla undergoes the medical testing that her parents are requesting, she will require lab work and has already expressed that she is afraid of blood and needles. This action will violate her right to autonomy and self-determination because the blood draw is invasive. Camilla has also expressed that testing for her carrier status is a decision she wants to make for herself when she is ready to have children. The principle of autonomy should be followed in this ethical case because it provides grounds for arguing the invasion of Camilla’s rights to...
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