PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case

Should We Withhold Life Support

Removal of life support is associated with compliance with the patient individual’s wishes to end their life. This happens when the individual is dependent, terminally ill, mentally unstable, or fed up with their life due to an existing disease or co-morbidity which has deteriorated their health to an extent where the patient can no longer tolerate the pain. Get PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case

Moral Issues Associated with Limiting Life Support


The case scenario for this assessment is a patient named Mr. Martinez. He is a patient with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). The patient is admitted to a hospital due to an upper respiratory tract infection. Mr. Martinez and his wife have requested the healthcare providers that if the condition of Mr. Martinez deteriorates, they are not to perform CPR. The oxygen concentration that the patient was receiving was of high concentration which led to respiratory failure. The patient was in a serious condition when the healthcare providers came to his room. 

Moral Issues

Access to life support means that the patient is provided with external life support agents through technological aid to increase their lifespan. This prolongation of life is associated with an increase in the number of days a person lives but instills the factor of dependence in the patient. Moral issues related to limiting life support mean that the patient’s condition would deteriorate (McPherson et al., 2019). The patient would not be provided access to healthcare services as a result the current condition of the patient would worsen. This would mean that the patient would undergo a slow and painful death which would be excoriating to watch for the patient, his family members, and the healthcare providers (Akdeniz et al., 2021).


The assumption on which the analysis is based is that healthcare providers provide the patient with the option to end life support. Healthcare providers believe that patients’ rights and decisions should be respected when it comes to important situations such as ending life support. 

Ethical Thinking and Ethical Principles

Ethical thinking is linked to ethical principles that state that the patient should have access to healthcare services that include the patient’s autonomy, and healthcare services which are beneficial, justified, and non-malicious to the health of the patient. Ethical thinking allows the individual, in this case, the healthcare provider to make the right decision for Mr. Martinez regardless of the patient’s decision to end his life. This thinking promotes the factor of preserving ad promoting life through providing or increasing access to healthcare services (Akdeniz et al., 2021). 

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case

Autonomy ensures that the patient’s decision is respected and that healthcare services are offered according to the demand of the patients. However, ethical thinking to protect, preserve, and save the life is the ethical thinking process of the healthcare provider which ensures that any rash decision made by the patient can be modified (Abrams et al., 2019). To refuse to comply with ethical principles means that the healthcare providers are promoting malice against the patient and are ignoring the autonomy of the patient. Hence, increasing the suffering of the patients (Andrade, 2019).

Real-life Consequences

  The consequences of not following ethical principles will result in poor patient compliance with healthcare services. It will increase the chances of medication errors as the healthcare providers will not provide care which is beneficial, patient-centered, and non-malicious. This will jeopardize the health of the patients. Along with this, failure to comply with ethical principles will result in patient dissatisfaction which will result in a decline in the number of patients visiting the healthcare system to receive medical services. A lack of ethical principles will lead to malpractice as patients will not be provided with justified care that should be patient-centered.PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case

Real-life consequences associated with limiting life-support are linked to the drastic decline of the health of the patients. This is coupled with an increase in the use of life-support machinery for the patient which is painful to use. The pain associated with the use of life support machinery is linked to the increase in the decline of the health of the patient which encourages an increase in healthcare disparities. An increase in the use of life-support technologies increases the cost of therapy that the patient will be undergoing. This will add additional pressure (emotional plus financial burden) on the family of the patient. 

Important Considerations

An important consideration that arises during deciding for limiting life support includes the patient’s decision. Another important consideration is whether the removal of life support will help and save the patient from painful and exacerbating life which will follow if the life support is not removed. Alongside this, the doctor will critically analyze if removing life support is more beneficial for the patient’s health or if keeping the patient on life support is more beneficial (Reignier et al., 2019). 

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 3 Should We Withhold Life Support? The Mr. Martinez Case

In the case of Mr. Martinez, the healthcare providers will decide the harm-to-benefit ratio of removal of life-support in the patient and the quality of life he will have if life-support is not limited. The healthcare providers will consider the method, route, and type of medication therapy which can be offered to the patient to improve their respiratory condition and reduce the pain associated with COPD (Dutta, 2020). 

Recommendations for Decision Making

The recommendations for decision-making are the critical analysis of the patient’s current condition and the deterioration of health which will follow soon after. Healthcare providers are encouraged to make sound decisions based on their ability to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong regardless of the patient’s decision (Dutta et al., 2020). Along with this, the healthcare system should encourage the use of consent forms for the termination of life-support. This will aid as written proof in legal court that the patient wanted to remove the life-support and it wasn’t the decision of the hospital. 


Limiting life support is an option that should be available to all patients and should be respected. However, if the benefit of limiting life support is less than providing life support the healthcare providers are encouraged to follow the situation which is beneficial for the patient’s health. 


Abrams, D., Pham, T., Burns, K. E. A., Combes, A., Curtis, J. R., Mueller, T., Prager, K. M., Serra, A., Slutsky, A. S., Brodie, D., Schmidt, M., & International ECMO Network (ECMONet) (2019). Practice patterns and ethical considerations in the management of venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients: An international survey. Critical Care Medicine47(10), 1346–1355. 

Akdeniz, M., Yardımcı, B., & Kavukcu, E. (2021). Ethical considerations in end-of-life care. SAGE Open Medicine9, 20503121211000918. 

Andrade G. (2019). The ethics of positive thinking in healthcare. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine12, 18. 

Dutta, O., Lall, P., Patinadan, P. V., Car, J., Low, C. K., Tan, W. S., & Ho, A. H. Y. (2020). Patient autonomy and participation in end-of-life decision-making: An interpretive-systemic focus group study on perspectives of Asian healthcare professionals. Palliative & Supportive Care18(4), 425–430. 

Jensen, H. I., Ozden, S., Kristensen, G. S., Azizi, M., Smedemark, S. A., & Mogensen, C. B. (2021). Limitation of life-sustaining treatment and patient involvement in decision-making: A retrospective study of a Danish COVID-19 patient cohort. Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine29(1), 173.

McPherson, K., Carlos, W. G., 3rd, Emmett, T. W., Slaven, J. E., & Torke, A. M. (2019). Limitation of life-sustaining care in the critically ill: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Hospital Medicine14(5), 303–310. 

Reignier, J., Feral-Pierssens, A. L., Boulain, T., Carpentier, F., Le Borgne, P., Del Nista, D., Potel, G., Dray, S., Hugenschmitt, D., Laurent, A., Ricard-Hibon, A., Vanderlinden, T., Chouihed, T., & French society of emergency medicine (société française de médecine d’urgence, sfmu) and french intensive care society (société de réanimation de langue française, SRLF) (2019). Withholding and withdrawing life-support in adults in emergency care: Joint position paper from the French intensive care society and French society of emergency medicine. Annals of Intensive Care9(1), 105. 

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