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When Parents Refuse to Give Up: Yusef Camp’s Case


Every occupation, which implies direct communication with people, requires a high level of an employee’s competence as he or she should be aware of the boundaries of such an interaction. However, among these professions, nursing is one of the most outstanding in terms of practitioner-patient communication as there is a faint line between the patients’ free will and the nurses’ responsibilities. The case study concerning the hospitalization of a nine-year-old boy with food poisoning, Yusef Camp, is a vivid example of a situation when patient’s and nurse’s interests contradict each other. The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed analysis of nurses’ responsibility boundaries regarding the given case study.

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Speaking of the overall boy’s condition, Yusef’s brain is not functioning, but the local state law does not allow practitioners to qualify him as dead. As the care of such a patient is quite demanding, the nurses’ concerns about its relevance might be understandable. However, in terms of medical law, these concerns are not justifiable enough to stop the treatment. Lawyers state that nurses have no legal right to discontinue any patient treatment as long as it is not hazardous for their own life (“Can a nurse discontinue a provider’s order?” 2015). The fact that the patient’s brain does not function properly is not exhaustive as well due to the state’s legislative system.

Sometimes, patients’ families and nurses have completely different perspectives of the situation as well as the views on the treatment process. Such dissonance can lead to a conflict of interests or some interpersonal misunderstandings. However, even if sometimes the practitioner’s point of view is more practical in terms of medical treatment, the patient’s will should be of greater interest to the doctors. There exist various codes of ethics for nurses that state that the patient’s choice should remain autonomous for as long as possible (Bedford & Jones, 2014). In the case of Yusef, his parents have the absolute right to demand further care and treatment for their son, even if he is not conscious. Nurses cannot overrule or manipulate the parents’ decisions, no matter how bad the condition of a patient is.

One of the main objectives of the modern healthcare system is to guarantee equal treatment opportunities for citizens across the country, and the nurse aims to maintain these opportunities for patients. According to the Bill of Rights, nurses have their rights and freedoms in terms of patient care and communication (“Bill of Rights FAQs,” n.d.). However, at the same time, they do not have any legitimate permission to prioritizing any patients because of the cost of their treatment. Their aim should be to provide any medical patient with the necessary healthcare tools. Thus, even if some patients require more time and effort for the lower cost, nurses have no right to limit their attention to the client.


To sum everything up, the healthcare system is a sophisticated mechanism that needs discipline and obedience in order not to be destroyed. Nurses are major constituents of this mechanism, and they are to ensure that the patients’ treatment is executed according to all the legal and moral standards. Thus, even when further patient care does not seem to be productive, they should still preserve the willingness to help the patients and treat them as individuals with their rights and views.


Bedford, S., & Jones, E. (2014). Should practitioners override patient choices? Nursing Times, 110(41), 15-16.

Bill of Rights FAQs. (n.d.). Web.

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Can a nurse discontinue a provider’s order? (2015). Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, August 3). When Parents Refuse to Give Up: Yusef Camp’s Case.

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