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Are Your Responsible for Your Actions If You Have an Underlying Medical Condition?
By Moira McMahon, Researcher
In episode 302, The Way We Were, Tammy is rushed to the hospital with a broken arm. Everyone thinks it's a result of abuse, but it turns out that Tammy has a rare tumor on her ovary, which is affecting her behavior. Her tumor is an Ectopic Pheocromocytoma. It releases sudden surges of adrenaline. Adrenaline gives us that shaky "fight or flight" feeling. Instead of fleeing, Tammy, irrationally, fights with everyone around her. Adrenaline increases muscle contraction, which means a dramatic increase in strength. So even though the idea that an eleven-year-old girl can cause injury to grown adults sounds unlikely, in the face of an adrenaline-secreting tumor, it's completely possible.
Her last episode was so aggressive that Tammy gave her mother a black eye and she stabbed her father in the leg. To make matters worse, complications of the stab wound have put her father into a coma.
Because of Tammy's behavior, her father may die. Even though Cooper explains to Tammy that her behavior was due to her medical condition, Tammy feels terrible that she has hurt her father so badly. Removing the tumor does not change the fact that her father is still lying unconscious because of her actions. Thankfully, her father does emerge from the coma and Tammy is able to say, "I'm sorry." Her father forgives her, but can Tammy ever forgive herself? Should she forgive herself?
Let Us Know What You Think:
If You Have a Medical Condition That Causes You To Hurt Someone Else, Are You Responsible for Your Actions?