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You be the Judge Jimmy, a 15-year-old Floridian, had undergone two liver transplants

2-Read the case study presented and answer the questions below:

You be the Judge Jimmy, a 15-year-old Floridian, had undergone two liver transplants. An only child, he lived with his mother, a single parent. He was prescribed immunosuppressant drugs that caused severe debilitating side effects in an attempt to prevent his body from rejecting the second liver transplant. Understanding that his life expectancy was limited and that the medications were causing the debilitating side effects, Jimmy elected to stop taking the immunosuppressive medications. When his attending physicians discovered that he was no longer taking the prescribed medications, they instituted court proceedings against his mother for child endangerment. Jimmy was readmitted to the hospital at the same time in an attempt to ensure that he restarted the immuno-suppressive mediations

A juvenile court judge held separate meetings with Jimmy, his mother, and the health care team in an attempt to resolve the issue. His mother, at her meeting with the judge, expressed anguish as she felt that not taking the medications would hasten her son’s death, but she was also resolved to the fact that she felt he was mature enough to fully under-stand the consequences of his non-actions. Jimmy assured the judge that he understood the consequences of his non-actions, but he was tired of taking medications that merely increased his pain and suffering and wanted, as stated in his final comment, “some time to be free of pain. I am going to die anyway.” The health care team were unable to assure the judge that taking the medications would greatly increase Jimmy’s longevity

 

• What questions would you anticipate the judge to ask Jimmy to ascertain his level of maturity, understanding of the full consequences of his lack of action, and possible alternative reasons for requesting that he be allowed to make his own medical decisions?

• How should the judge evaluate the mother’s response to her son’s request?

• Does the state of residency factor into the judge’s decision?

• Are there additional issues that should be addressed prior to deciding the outcome of this case?

• How would you decide the case?

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