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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Case Study: The case of Scott Starson Introduction The Scott Starson case involved a patient, Starson, who had been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital. This happened after he had been found “not criminally responsible” for two accounts of uttering death threats.
According to Starson, taking the medication would disrupt him from pursuing his research; being a gifted theoretical physicist, he believed that this research was the only reason he felt his life carried a meaning. In this sense, being unable to carry on with it would simply render his life “useless” and “meaningless.” However, the physician felt that Starson's refusal was informed by his inability to appreciate the value of treatment. Consequently, the physicians petitioned to have Starson's treatment decision transferred to a surrogate. Though the petition was granted, Starson would later appeal, and the petition was reversed at the Supreme Court of Canada. The Supreme Court held that a patient, in this case Starson, was not required to make a decision that is in their “best interest” as determined by the physician, and thence they are permitted to disagree with a treatment recommendation. The Court also reasoned that Starson was a competent patient capable of making his own medical decisions. This case has both legal and ethical implications; firstly, this study delves into examining the ethicalness in a physician imposing treatment, and secondly, the study also looks at physicians’ position in determining a patient’s “best interest”: whether they are entitled to make this decision on behalf of the patient and how far can they go with this. ...
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