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Medical Ethics Without the Rhetoric: Case Seven, Civil but Disobedient


A fourteen-year-old girl was a victim of a disfiguring fire when she was in kindergarten. Since that time, the girl has been through dozens of surgeries intended to address her disfigurements – and there has been progress. Her physician is now recommending another surgery, but the girl makes it clear to her parents and to the physician that she does not want the surgery. She says she is tired of living in the hospital, experiencing pain, and can live without the promised potential benefit of the surgery.