Huntington’s disease case study | Nursing homework help
Example: Mrs. Smith and Mr. Smith are both in their 40s. They have three children. Two of them are teens. Mrs. Smith’s mother died from Huntington’s disease, and she recently tested positive for the genetic mutation that causes the disease. Mr. Smith is concerned about his wife’s diagnosis and what it means for their family. He also worries about his children, and whether or not they should be tested.
Step 1: Recognize the problem and gather information The main problem in this case is whether Mr. and Mrs. Smith should inform their children about their mother’s diagnosis of Huntington’s disease and whether their children should be tested for the gene mutation. Huntington’s disease is a genetic disorder that affects the central nervous system and has no cure. Huntington’s disease can be passed down in autosomal dominant patterns. This means that each child who inherits the genetic mutation from one parent will have a 50% chance to get it. Although testing for gene mutations is possible, the process of testing is complicated and requires ethical, psychological and social considerations.
Step 2 – Identify ethical problems. In this instance, the main ethical issues are autonomy, justice, beneficence, not-maleficence, undue, and beneficence. Respecting autonomy is the ability to take decisions regarding one’s own well-being and health. Mrs. Smith is free to tell her children the diagnosis, and to test for any gene mutation. Healthcare providers and others must act in the best interests of patients and avoid harm, both for non-maleficence or bebeneficence. The decision to inform the children about their mother’s diagnosis and whether to be tested for the gene mutation should be based on what is best for the individual and the family. Justice calls for healthcare resources to be shared fairly, and people treated equally. The decision to have the gene mutation tested should be made without regard for financial resources.
Step 3: Analyze the alternatives and weigh the pros and con’s. Option 1: Mrs. Smith may inform her children of her diagnosis. She can also discuss genetic testing with them. Convertible: Kids can take informed decisions about their well-being and health. Pros: A child’s genetic risk may cause anxiety, depression or guilt.
Option 2: Mrs. Smith may inform her children of her diagnosis, but she will not be able to discuss genetic testing. The pros: It is possible to prepare children for future problems. The cons: Some children may not feel in control of their own health or well-being.
Option 3: Mrs. Smith has the option to not tell her children about her diagnosis. Benefits: The knowledge about their genetic risk status does not affect the children. The cons: Future health issues may not be known to children.
Step 4 – Consider the implications Option 1: When Mrs. Smith tells her children her diagnosis, and offers the possibility for genetic testing, her children could experience depression or anxiety related to the genetic risk. They can still make educated decisions regarding their health and well-being.
Option 2: The children may be better prepared for possible future health issues if Mrs. Smith tells them about her diagnosis and not about the possibility of genetic testing. But they might feel like they have no control over their well-being and health.
Option 3. Mrs. Smith may choose not to tell her children about her diagnosis. The children will not be burdened by the information. They may not be ready for future problems.
Step 5 – Identify the stakes The stakes in this case are autonomy, privacy honesty respect for people and family relations. Mrs. Smith is entitled to the rights