You are on page 1of 11

TERM PAPER NURSING 352

Sandra Sasse June 28, 2011 Ethics and Law

2008) Her doctor "used an electro cautery needle. 2008) Devastated." (Altered Dimensions. 2004) David's parents agreed to the radical procedure. believing Dr. We seem to find numerous cases that tragically cross ethical lines in the name of "science". instead of a scalpel. 1965 had twins. to excise David’s foreskin during a routine circumcision. After discussing the details of the case I will examine the ethics that are firmly placed within the healthcare profession that were violated and discuss how the tremendous case changed our laws in the United States and globally. “home of the world's leading expert in gender identity. the parents were referred to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. his mother took her sons to the doctor and was advised to have them both circumcised. (Altered Dimensions. twin boys to be exact. Their first few months of life were like any others but David’s mother noticed that her twin boys were having difficulty urinating. who recommended a surgical sex change. from male to female. The case I will examine and discuss is horrific and saddening but it teaches us all a lesson on how we must always keep humanity and ethics in mind. David's parents were young Canadians from farm country. John Money. They fell in love and on August 22. there are times we are horrified at the blood that is spilt along the way. psychologist Dr. Naturally concerned.”(Calpinto. We as scientists yearn and push for the rapid progression of science yet. Money when he claimed this would be the only hope . burning off his entire penis as a result.There is a line that calls to be drawn when it comes to the advancement of science and the fragility of humanity.

for their child to have a normal life. Understandably David’s frustrating grew as he got older. Money. His brother. due to all the issues the family had with . David was having a horrible time adjusting to his new “Brenda” role. He became very angry and would tear the dresses he wore off and would fight his brother to play with his toys instead of playing with the dolls that were given to him. it affected the entire family. 2004) Sadly. David was the ultimate opportunity for an experiment to prove that “nurture. Dr. For Dr. not nature. Money was gaining a lot of attention and this radical idea of nurture overruling nature got him featured in Time magazine. he felt so out of place and dreaded the annual visits to Dr. The most tragic was what happened to his twin brother. (Calpinto.” (Calpinto. determines gender identity and sexual orientation—an experiment all the more irresistible because David was an identical twin. would provide the perfect matched control. The procedure was considered successful and it was documented that the twins were adjusting quite well to their new “roles”. 2004) David's infant "sex reassignment" was the first ever conducted on a “normal” child. a genetic clone raised as a boy. His mother feeling horribly guilty attempted suicide and his father became an alcoholic. Money’s discovery or success experiment was in fact a disaster. Brian. Dr. Money where his insistence to be more feminine was reinforced. David’s turmoil didn’t end with him.

a local psychiatrist convinced his parents to finally be honest with their child." (Calpinto. (Milton & Beh. he was convinced he could never marry since he was physically unable to have children. In his twenties he attempted suicide twice. Money considered his sex reassignment surgery a success and his case was used to “legitimize the widespread use of infant sex change in cases of hermaphroditism and genital injury.“Brenda” his brother David felt ignored and acted out with drug use and getting in trouble with the law. I wasn't some sort of weirdo. David agreed to participate in a follow-up by Dr. he still had not recovered from his horrific past and it did cause a lot of problems in his marriage. Money. By chance David happened to meet “Dr. Diamond. I wasn't crazy. Milton Diamond. “ To David’s shock he found out that Dr. whose myth-shattering paper (coauthored by Dr. Keith Sigmundson) was published in Archives of Pediatrics . (Altered Dimensions. a psychologist at the University of Hawaii and a longtime rival of Dr. Unfortunately. Money. All of his procedures were quite long and painful and though the scares may have physically healed his emotional scares were still open.” It was as if David could never escape the shadow of Dr. “ Outraged. 2004) Soon after being told the truth he went through several procedures to change him back into a man. 2008) When Brenda (David) was 14. 2005) Things began to turn around in David’s life when met a woman and fell in love and got married.” David stated that "Suddenly it all made sense why I felt the way I did.

2001) I would imagine it was a combination of both. his twin Brian died of an overdose of antidepressants in the spring of 2002. Eventually. How much of the Reimers' misery was due to inherited depression. (Milton & Beh. 2005) “Genetics almost certainly contributed to David's suicide. not nature. his brother suffered from the same disease. he also made some bad investments with his money and had marriage problems. He was used to prove an over ambitious scientist’s theory that gender was determined by nurture. Sadly. David became depressed. Diamond expose Dr. and how much to the nightmare circumstances into which they had been thrown? “(Ellis & Hartley. Dr.and Adolescent Medicine in March 1997 and was featured on front pages across the globe. his traumatic life became too much for him and he ended his life. . 2005) David’s motive for writing his book was partly therapeutic and partly to raise awareness. 2004) Now David had a voice and helping Dr. Perhaps with the right amount of drugs and therapy he could have overcome his unfortunate past. David is a very good example of a patient becoming a victim of science. things began to go downhill again for David. “(Calpinto. His mother has been a clinical depressive all her life. Money propelled him to agree to conduct several interview about what happened to him and eventually he wrote a book called “As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl “(Milton & Beh.

The first ethical law he violated is justice. They blindly agreed to his recommendation not knowing the tragedy that was to come. As a result this case pushed the requirement of informed consent. They were young farm teenagers from Canada and could be easily manipulated. Dr. They only result of justice from this sad story was that it aided in the requirement of informed consent. Justice is the obligation to be fair to all people clearly justice was not evident with Dr. The poor child did not get justice. Dr. Clearly Dr. 2005) Informed consent requires the health provider to explain the negative and positive outcomes of the procedure.Money theory was proven wrong and it cost an entire family to suffer as a result of his selfish motives. Thanks to Mr. he was definitely just used a tool for Dr. (Pozgar. Reimer’s bravery in coming forward with his story he . 2005) He was in fact unfair to the innocent child. Maloney did not keep in mind and violated several areas of his ethical laws. Maloney and the patient. Maloney used them for his own theory and research. It is now required that they also provide other possible options. Maloney’s theories. (Lloyd. There is nothing fair in deciding to change a child’s gender and observe the reactions in order to prove his own theory. Maloney was not completely honest with David's parents. He never bothered to explain the possible outcomes from the gender reassignment surgery.

2005) In the Reimer case the doctor did not consider the preference of the patient but his . (Pozgar.was able to further convince the world that informed consent was necessary in order to protect patients. The second ethical principle he broke was autonomy which requires that the patient have autonomy of thought. Reimer when he convinced her to go ahead with the procedure without fully informing her of the possible consequences. culture. values and preference of the patient”. This ethical principle requires that the procedure be provided with the intent of doing good for the patient involved. 2005) Therefore. Doing good also requires that the healthcare provider “have knowledge of the beliefs. and strive for net benefit. Demands that health care providers develop and maintain skills and knowledge. The third ethical law that was neglected was beneficence. yet he was convincing her that it was already proven. consider individual circumstances of all patients. continually update training. intention. and action when making decisions regarding health care procedures. He was actually currently performing the experiment to his theory that nurture is more powerful to nature when it comes to gender. the decision-making process must be free of coercion or coaxing. Maloney was definitely in violation of this ethical requirement! He definitely persuaded and misleads Mrs. (Stanford University. Dr.

(Pozgar. Money’s false experiment was incorrectly used as an argument to preform gender reassignments on babies. The Reimer case definitely had a huge influence on the requirement of informed consent. (Pozgar. If Reimer would have known about the potential risks I seriously doubt that any parent would be willing to put their child in that predicament. 2005) Dr. 2005) Due to the gross negligence of Dr.actual preference when it came to David Reimer. Dr. non-maleficence was also violated. Requires that a procedure does not harm the patient involved or others in society. benefits and alternatives of a proposed procedure”. Dr. According to our book “Legal and Ethical Issues. His suffering could have been far less if they had raised him a boy and treated him as such. Money capitalized on his success with the Reimer experiment until Milton Diamond's research and a BBC documentary in 1980 questioned the "success" of the experiment. Money did not inform the Reimers of any of this information. I believe the biggest disservice that the . There is no doubt that Reimer was affected and harmed on so many levels. Their used this case in particular to drive the point that doctors are required to explain exactly what the patient is getting and what are the alternatives. Maloney there was a push for protection of patients and their rights. Lastly. There was nothing “good” about forcing David to be a girl when he was born a boy. “informed consent is ‘a legal concept that provides that a patient has a right to know the potential risks.

” (Martin.Reimers received was not to inform that of alternatives. Perhaps he would still be with us if his mother was properly informed. Maloney just went by the ethical code all health professional promise to abide by this tragedy could have been avoided. 2002). it took cases like Reimer to change the laws that protect us today. “A belief in the fundamental adult human right to determine what will be done to his own body is the foundational principle leading to the doctrine of informed consent in the doctor-patient relationship. Imagine if Reimer’s mother was clearly informed there is no doubt it could have completely changed the whole course of David Reimer’s life. Sadly. If Dr. . Basically they were lead to believe that the radical gender change was their only option. Maloney has blood on his hands all if in the name of “research and science”. Now Dr.

Colapinto.slate. MILTON DIAMOND. Ellis.com 2.htm 4. Hartley (2001) Nursing In Today's World: Challenges. Erin (2005) From the Hospital to the Courtroom: A STATUTORY PROPOSAL FOR RECOGNIZING AND PROTECTING THE LEGAL RIGHTS OF INTERSEX CHILDREN .D. J. PH. & HAZEL GLENN BEH.D. 7th ed. PH.References 1. PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishing 5.D.Sex and Gender Decisions http://www2. Janice R. (2005) The Right to be Wrong. Issues and Trends.de/sexology/BIB/DIAM/right. Altered Dimensions..com/id/2101678/ 3. Philadelphia.hu-berlin.Institute for Paranormal and Esoteric Research (2008) The Story of David Reimer. Lloyd.altereddimensions.a boy in girl’s clothing http://www. John (2004) Gender Gap http://www. and Celia L.

lexisnexis.https://litigation-essentials. Patricia (2002) Moving toward an international standard in informed consent: the impact of intersexuality and the Internet on the standard of care http://findarticles. .edu/class/siw198q/websites/reprotech/New %20Ways%20of%20Making%20Babies/EthicVoc.com/p/articles/mi_go2943/is_2002_Summer/ai_n7042 230/ 8.+ %26+Gender+155&srctype=smi&srcid=3B15&key=8ede8c02d34161 436a9c3ed85d7a6851 6.com/webcd/app? action=DocumentDisplay&crawlid=1&doctype=cite&docid=12+Cardo zo+J.stanford. George (2005) Legal and Ethical Issues – For Health Professionals. Pozgar.L. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett. Stanford University (2009) What are the Basic Concepts of Medical Ethics http://www.htm 7. Martin.