Sample Answer for PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case Included After Question
Write a 2-3 page paper that examines the moral and ethical issues involved in making a decision regarding limiting life support.
In a 2–3 page analysis of the case study, address the following:
- The patient’s directives.
- The patient’s quality of life.
- The family’s stated preferences.
- The moral issues associated with limiting life support.
- The ethical principles most relevant to reaching an ethically sound decision.
- Important considerations such as implications, justifications, and any conflicts of interest that might arise because of the patient’s respiratory failure.
This media piece provides the context for this assessment; make sure you have reviewed the case study thoroughly.
Additionally, it may be useful to think through the following issues as they relate to Mr. Martinez’s case:
- Should Mr. Martinez be transferred to intensive care, where his respiratory failure can be treated by a ventilator, and by CPR if necessary, and his oxygen level can be monitored?
- What are the key ethical issues or models at play in this case study?
- What are the key end-of-life issues at play in this case study?
- How can an understanding of models and best-practice help to guide health care practitioners to make ethical and legal decisions?
A Sample Answer For the Assignment: PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case
Title: PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case
End-of-life directives and issues are complex situations that providers encounter in their efforts to offer care while also maintaining ethical requirements as providers. Patient’s directives like Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) for cases that require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) places providers in ethical dilemmas on whether to offer life support treatment or not (Dar et al., 2021). As such, patient’s and family directives, the principle of autonomy and the need to uphold ethical principles affect the provision of such care. The purpose of this paper is to explore the case of Mr. Martinez and determine the most ethical decision in providing care based on the surrounding issues.
Transferring Mr. Martinez to the ICU
The decision on if the medical team should take Mr. Martinez to the intensive care unit (ICU) and conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) requires determining if the treatment will offer any benefits to the patients and the family decisions on the same. In this case, the patient and his wife or family have made a determination that physicians should not conduct any resuscitation, including CPR. Based on the case, the treatment may not be effective, implying that it may no longer realize the aims of the pharmacological interventions. The intervention may not have significant effects on the quality of life for Mr. Martinez. A majority of states and Washington D.C. allow terminally ill patients to reject treatment when it may have limited effects on their quality of life, especially those who have less than six months to live.
Mr. Martinez needs an ICU transfer yet his family cannot be reached and neither can he make the decision on whether or not to accept the treatment intervention. However, in his earlier decision, the patient and his family were categorical that no resuscitation including CPR should be conducted on him. Mr. Martinez was competent at this time while making the decision. As such, while the provider may feel the need to withhold life, they should uphold patient autonomy and the decisions he made with his family about any interventions, including being transferred to the ICU and conducting a CPR.
Ethical values and even the law are categorical that life is precious and should be preserved. Health care providers like physicians have the duty to preserve and protect life (Di Paolo et al., 2019). The decision to take Mr. Martinez to the ICU is a complex one as it entails considering the moral position of the physician and against the family’s and patient’s autonomy to have advanced directives, DNR. In this case, transferring the patient to the ICU and ensuring his stability is not a priority since they made it clear that such interventions should not be implemented. Withholding life support in this case is the most effective decision based on the directives from the patients and principle of autonomy since Mr. Martinez was competent when making the choice.
Family’s stated Preferences
In this case, the physician requires support from the family, especially Mrs. Martinez and explain the intervention as well as the chances of attaining a positive outcome. While the physician can advise the family about the benefits of CPR and transfer to ICU, it is the family has the final determination. In most cases, CPR patients rarely survive and this is what informed the family’s decision, DNR. Withholding or withdrawing life support is legally justified based on the provisions of assisted suicide and euthanasia. The principles of informed consent and autonomy are fundamental ethical and even legal considerations in this case (Vergallo, 2020). Imperatively, the ethical, moral, and legal components of the decision by the family and physician’s professional conduct are critical in this instance. The physician has no legal implications by withholding treatment for the patient based on the advance directives offered, DNR. Again, no conflict of interest arises in the case since the physician and the medical team will be adhering to ethical and legal requirements concerning the issue at hand.
Ethical dilemmas in healthcare implore providers to consider patient values and principles as well as legal provisions that guide such processes. In this case, the physician must adhere to the principle of autonomy and informed consent to make any decisions on giving the patient life support or not. The case demonstrates the legal and ethical as well as moral dilemmas that healthcare providers encounter in their practice environment.
Dar, M., Swamy, L., Gavin, D., & Theodore, A. (2021). Mechanical-ventilation supply and
options for the COVID-19 pandemic. Leveraging all available resources for a limited resource in a crisis. Annals of the American Thoracic Society, 18(3), 408-416. DOI: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.202004-317CME
Di Paolo, M., Gori, F., Papi, L., & Turillazzi, E. (2019). A review and analysis of new Italian law
219/2017: ‘provisions for informed consent and advance directives treatment’. BMC medical ethics, 20, 1-7. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12910-019-0353-2
Vergallo, G. M. (2020). Advance healthcare directives: binding or informational value?
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 29(1), 98-109.