Monday, April 10, 2006
Tonight, your local PBS station will mostly likely be showing, "The Boy in the Bubble" as part of the American Experience series. It looks to be an interesting program that will discuss some of the complex ethical issues raised by the boy with no immune system and the medical treatment he received. From the PBS website,
When David Vetter died at the age of 12, he was already world famous: the boy in the plastic bubble. Mythologized as the plucky, handsome child who had defied the odds, his life story is in fact even more dramatic. It is a tragic tale that pits ambitious doctors against a bewildered, frightened young couple; it is a story of unendingly committed caregivers and resourceful scientists on the cutting edge of medical research. This American Experience raises some of the most difficult ethical questions of our age. Did doctors, in a rush to save a child, condemn the boy to a life not worth living? Did they, in the end, effectively decide how to kill him?