Copyright (c) 2002 Clinical Law Review, Inc.
Clinical Law Review
PAPERS PRESENTED AT THE UCLA/IALS CONFERENCE ON "PROBLEM SOLVING IN CLINICAL EDUCATION: PROBLEM-SOLVING IN A MULTIDISCIPLINARY ENVIRONMENT? MUST ETHICS GET IN THE WAY OF HOLISTIC SERVICES?
9 Clinical L. Rev. 337
J. Michael Norwood and Alan Paterson*
As Dr. Liu entered her notes on the hospital chart concerning her treatment of baby Christie, she was confident that Christie's condition would significantly improve before she left the hospital. Although born near full term, her weight, height, and head circumference were significantly below average. When she was born, Christie showed clear signs of drug addiction. Her muscles were stiff, and her attentiveness to her new world was significantly diminished in comparison to normal babies. She spent much of her day in a deep sleep. Her fully awake time was limited and she moved quickly from that state back toward deep sleep. Given her condition, the hospital protocol was to order a toxicology test for drug exposure, and Christie tested positive for heroin. Her mother voluntarily reported using both cocaine and heroin during her pregnancy. Dr. Liu treated Christie for withdrawal symptoms using diminishing doses of methadone. Although this course of treatment was somewhat controversial in the medical community, she felt this was the most humane way to ease Christie's suffering. Having been hospitalized for two weeks now, Christie seemed to have turned a corner; she was gaining weight, and was almost free of methadone. She should be ready to go home in another week.
Nevertheless, Dr. Liu was deeply troubled about Christie's future. What would her home life be like? Would she get her immunizations, and needed medical care. Would she be checked for developmental delays as she had recommended? Would appropriate interventions for any delays that were ...
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