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The Right to Choose: Bruce Jenner and Bobbi Kristina Brown

Two high-profiled personalities that were in the news in the first half of 2015 are Bobbi Kristina Brown and Bruce Jenner. Their cases bring forth the question of the right to choose.

Bruce Jenner: The Interview That Revealed All

In the case of Bruce Jenner, the former Olympic athlete who chose to change his sex. Bruce is the gold medal winner of the 1976 Olympic decathlon. He had struggled with being transgender since childhood around the age of 8 or 9 years by his own recollection. He finally mustered the courage to open up about his sex to a woman. He was interviewed by Diane Sawyer of ABC News in a raw and stunning tell-all. Bruce Jenner actually started the process back in the 1980s, thirty years ago when she started hormone therapy (Dooley, 2015).

Bruce Jenner's new name

She now wants to be known as Belinda according to the tabloid, Star. The Star had broken the story about Bruce Jenner's sexuality years ago. 

Bruce Jenner was divorced from Kris Jenner a few months ago. Bruce and Kris Jenner divorce was tabloid fodder in December 2014. They have two daughters Kendall, 19, and Kylie, 17. Kendall Jenner is successful supermodel. Bruce Jenner is also step-father to Kris' four children from her marriage to the late Robert Kardashian: Kourtney Kardashian, 35, Kim Kardashian, 34, Khloe Kardashian, 30, and Rob Kardashian 27.

Public responses have been mixed. Most were supportive, while there were some who were simply mean. In the ABC interview, she came across as a happier person and no longer living a lie (Bruce Jenner: The Interview, 2015) .As she prepares for the final stages of her transformation later this summer, we wish her all the best.

Bobbi Kristina Brown: The Controversy Over Persistent Vegetative State

In the other high-profiled news, reality television personality Bobbi Kristina Brown's health state was closely followed by many people. Bobbi Kristina Brown is the daughter of two successful singers, the late Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown. She was found face down and unconscious in her bathtub on 31 January 2015. She has been unresponsive since then, her brain damaged. The cause of the incident is the subject of an on-going criminal investigation. According to her maternal grandmother Cissy Houston, she is likely to remain unresponsive for years although she is no longer in a medically-induced coma. It seems to suggest that Bobbi is in a vegetative state. Vegetative state is described as an eyes open unconsciousness where the patient has no awareness of self or the surrounding. A vegetative patient goes through sleep-wake cycles and has open eyes at times. Reflex movements may occur but experts believe that is no purposeful to stimuli. The patient's eyes may wander about aimlessly. So the patient may appear to be looking at family members. The patient may grimaces or smiles but these are merely giving false hope that things are returning to normal when they are not. This issue came to the fore when Bobby Brown, Bobbi's father told his fans at a concert that Bobbi is awake. Later, Cissy clarified that Bobby was too optimistic and that Bobbi had irreversible brain damage and is likely to remain unresponsive for a long time. This seems to suggest that Bobbi is in a long term Persistent Vegetative State (PVS) (Common questions and answers about severe brain injury, n.d.).

Bobbi Kristina Brown inherited Whitney Houton's entire substantial estate following the latter's death on February 11, 2012. The media went into overdrive over speculation about how her estate will be managed by her family. Bobby Brown has filed for guardianship over Bobbi's estate (White & Mizoguchi, 2015).

In these two cases, one pertinent question is about the right to choose. Bruce Jenner's choice is her own. Perhaps, she is lucky in that sense. Her future road remain challenging for sure but she is following her heart and is better for it. For Bobbi, it is unfortunate that she cannot fend or speak for herself. We do not know whether Bobbi Kristina Brown is dead or she is in a Persistent Vegetative State. She is definitely robbed of her right to choose. It is too late for an advance medical directive. One hopes that her family will make the best decision in accordance with what she would have wanted. Advance medical directives are outlines of a person's wishes and preferences in regard to medical treatments and interventions. When a patient is incapable of making his or her own medical decisions, the appointed person can act on the patient's behalf to make decisions consistent with and based on the patient's stated wishes. Something to think about, for those who want the right to choose.

References

Bruce Jenner: The Interview (2015, Apr 24). abc News. Retrieved fromhttp://abcnews.go.com/2020/fullpage/bruce-jenner-the-interview-30471558

Common questions and answers about severe brain injury. (n.d.). Baylor HealthCare System. Retrieved fromhttps://www.baylorhealth.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/Documents_BHCS/BHCS_Patient%20Info_DocumentsForms/SevereBrainInjury_rev7.pdf

Dooley, S. & et. (2015, Apr 24). Bruce Jenner: 'I'm woman'. abc News. Retrieved fromhttp://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/bruce-jenner-im-woman/story?id=30570350

White, C. And Mizoguchi, Z. (2015, Apr 25). Bobby Brown files for guardianship over daughter Bobbi Kristina's estate amid conflicting claims about whether or not she is still in a coma. dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved fromhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3055554/Bobby-Brown-files-guardianship-daughter-Bobbi-Kristina-s-estate-amid-conflicting-claims-not-coma.html