In 1973, “DAX” Cowart (age 25) a former navy fighter pilot, was severely burned in a propane gas explosion. Rushed to the Burn Treatment Unit of Parkland Hospital in Dallas, he was found to have severe burns over 65 percent of his body; his face and hands suffered third degree burns and his eyes were damaged. Full burn therapy was instituted. After an initial period during which is survival was in doubt, he stabilized and underwent several surgeries.
Throughout the treatment process including 232 days in the hospital and an additional six months of rehabilitation, DAX repeatedly insisted that treatment be discontinued and that he be allowed to die. Despite this demand, wound care continued, skin grafts performed and nutritional supplements + fluid support provided. He was discharged totally blind, with minimal use of his hands, badly scarred and dependent on others to assist in personal functions. DAX attempted suicide several times unsuccessfully. After years of personal conflict and physical disability, DAX managed to obtain enough assistance to attend law school.
He eventually completed the coursework and brought legal charges against Parkland Hospital and other medical providers for ‘wrongful life’.
From the information provided about Dax, do you feel that the care he received, against his request to discontinue treatments, was the correct decision? Dialogue your response with supporting statements (autonomy,non-maleficence,paternalism..) Consider the folloiwng points when posting your responses:
1. Describe the ethical dilemmas associated with DAX.
2. Explain ethical concepts applied to this case.
3. Research other cases that are similar or could be applicable to DAX.
Last Updated on February 10, 2019 by Essay Pro