Do your personal rights have more value than what the state wants?
Can the state tell you what to do?
Can they force you to do something against your will?
Can they force you to have surgery?
A case in Texas has judicial and medical ethicists wondering.
In a highly unusual case, a 17-year old boy is accused of shooting at a used-car lot owner after a gangland shoot-out & attempted car theft.
The car lot owner returned gun fire.
The car lot owner says that after the police had left, he was cleaning up his shop and someone approached him from a darkened alley, called out to him and threatened to kill him if he cooperated with police, and opened gun fire upon him.
The car lot owner, whom is a competitive pistol shooter, returned gunfire with a pistol, and said he never saw the man's face in the dark alley.
Gang members said the youth participated in the attempted theft. The youth admits to participating in the attempted theft, but not to shooting.
Investigators noticed something amiss about the youth's appearance, since he had a black eye, and a knot on his forehead.
The youth claimed it was from playing basketball.
However, a few days later the youth went to a local hospital, where it was discovered a bullet slug was lodged in the fatty portion of his forehead.
The youth claimed he was struck by a stray bullet while seated on a couch in an apartment.
Police investigators became suspi-cious.
A judge issued a search warrant to remove the bullet from the youth's head in October. But a physician determined that because bone was growing around the slug, the proper tools to perform the procedure were not available in the Emergency Room, and declined to proceed. Citing that general anesthesia would be required to remove the lodged bullet, the physician stated that no operating rooms were available.
Police then obtained a second search warrant, and scheduled a second operation at a different hospital. However, the hospital refused to allow the procedure to be performed.
Prosecutors are still searching for a physician or hospital to remove the bullet.
All sides say removing the bullet would not be life threatening.
The youth's attorney is fighting forced removal of the slug.