Majority Act Case

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Laws are created with the intent to define what is right or wrong and built off moral beliefs, similar to ethics (Burkhardt & Nathanial, 2008). The law acts to regulate and authorize what is right and wrong in nursing practice. Age of Majority Act In the state of Michigan the Age of Majority Act states a person who is eighteen “is an adult of legal age for all purposes whatsoever” (Age of Majority Act of 1971). This means there is a natural paternal authority that is in effect until a child reaches age eighteen. Parental authority is based on the legal presumption that parents will make decisions that are in the best interest of their children (Lemmens, 2009). The act allows parents to give informed consent for medical procedures for their…show more content…
If Mike is adamant to stop treatment, the mature minor doctrine could be considered. He would need to demonstrate to his physician or judge that he has a mature decision-making capacity. If deemed competent, his parents would no longer the legal rights to give informed medical consent for Mike. As a result, Mike would be able to discontinue treatment and pursue whatever treatment option he feels is best for him. Comparison Analysis Before a decision can be made in Mike’s case, the nurse needs to compare and contrast the outcomes of each decision. The Mature Minor Doctrine, the principal of beneficence and the value of altruism all support Mike’s decision of discontinuing treatment. While the Age of Majority Act, the principle of veracity strictly supports the parent’s decision. However, values such as respect and altruism support both sides of the situation. The risk, benefits and consequences of each decision must be compared before an ethical decision can be made. Supporting…show more content…
Though Mike is not legally considered an adult, he still should be respected and treated as one. If he truly believes that refusing treatment will cause him less harm and to be at peace, his decision should be valued based off the principle of beneficence. The nurse taking care of Mike needs to realize that this means Mike will most likely die, however, he could pursue other options if he so desired. Discontinuing treatment would also let Mike decided to pass away on his own terms, which could give him a sense of control over his psychosocial health. The regain of control could allow Mike to have a better quality of life. If need be, the nurse should assist Mike attain information about the Mature Minor Doctrine and other relevant information about pediatric patient’s rights. Conclusion When an ethical dilemma arises, a nurse has to consider the outcomes of each choice. In a pediatric situation, it is pertinent to remember that the parents are considered as patients too. To help make a choice, they should first look at their personal and professional values that define their nursing practice. After, they need to look at ethical principles and legal documents to help guide their decision. In the end, they must compare and contrast these factors together to come up with the ethical decision that they ultimately feel is best for their
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