Sexuality and a Severely Brain-Injured Spouse

Topics: Marriage, Sexual intercourse, Human sexual behavior Pages: 2 (978 words) Published: November 1, 2014

Sexuality and a Severely Brain-Injured Spouse
Ethics: Health Care and Social Responsibility HSC/335
Angela Acreman
March 10, 2014
Susan Morgan
Sexuality and a Severely Brain-Injured Spouse
The sexual relationship between a man and woman after a severe brain injury stirs up ethical views from a lot of aspects. It is really hard to tell if the sexual contact was consensual because the woman cannot speak or even move. In this case study I will try to identify the ethical principles and come to a conclusion of what I would do in this decision to keep her at home with her husband or remove her for better medical care. In one of the scholarly commentaries, author Rebecca Dresser mentions the principles of justice. “This case presents two major legal questions. One is whether the law would classify Mr. Z’s actions as sexual assault.” (Dresser, R. 2010). I also have to agree that this couple was legally married and what they did as a couple should not be anyone’s business. There does not seem to be any physical abuse or the doctors would have noted it. The only neglect that I see would be Mr. Z not understanding the consequences of possible pregnancy for his wife and how it would affect her health. I also agree with the authors about the power of touch, believing that it is a form of intimacy and connections with each other. After all, they are still married and have two twin boys that tells you they at one time did have a sexual relationship. Also there are no signs of physical abuse. The authors also make a good and valid point about marriage vows. When two people come together and marry there is a since of contractual obligation and that we marry for better or for worse. So the first principal would be justice because by law Mrs. Z is married to Mr. Z. I think that the principal of beneficence would also have a part here because it would benefit Mrs. Z’s two children to have their mother at home. They would still be able to see her everyday...

References: Brashler, R., Dresser, R., Kirschner, K.L., Levine, C. (2010.) Sexuality and Severely Brain-injured Spouse. The Hastings Center Report. Retrieved from:
Baille, H. W., Garrett, T. M., & Mcheehan, J. F. (2010). Health Care Ethics (5th ed.). : Prentice Hall.
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