Write a 2–3 page paper examining the moral and ethical issues involved in making a decision regarding limiting life support.
Having established a framework of ethical theories and principles, we begin looking at some current critical ethical issues, starting with end-of-life issues. Passive euthanasia is the removal or refusal of life-sustaining treatment, such as removal of a feeding tube or a ventilator, or forgoing a life-prolonging surgery. Passive euthanasia is legal in all 50 states, and the principle of autonomy gives informed patients the right to refuse any and all treatments. Patients who cannot make such decisions in the moment (because they are unconscious, for example) may have expressed their intentions in an advance directive or similar document. Things become more complicated, however, when an incapacitated patient has not made his or her wishes clear in a written document or via conversations with family members or friends. Also problematic are cases in which there is disagreement about whether treatment is sustaining the life of a person in the full sense or merely as a body that, because of severe and irreversible brain trauma, is no longer truly a living person.
Active euthanasia or assisted suicide introduces further difficult moral questions. A terminally ill patient who has refused treatments that would merely prolong a potentially very painful and debilitating death might want death to be hastened and made less painful by taking his or her own life before the disease reaches its horrible final stages. Should patients be legally allowed to have help in this endeavor? If suicide itself is not morally wrong, at least in cases like these, is it wrong for another person to directly help bring about the patient’s death? Is it wrong for doctors—a role we naturally associate with healing and the promotion of life—to use their medical expertise to deliberately end a patient’s life if the patient wants this?
Case Study: Mr. Martinez.
This case study provides the context for this assessment; make sure you have reviewed it thoroughly.
It may also 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 or CPR if necessary, and his oxygen level can be monitored?
What are the key ethical issues or models in this case study?
What are the key end-of-life issues in this case study?
How can an understanding of models and best practices guide health care practitioners to make ethical and legal decisions?
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 conflicts of interest that might arise because of the patient’s respiratory failure.
When writing your assessment, assume that doctors cannot contact Mrs. Martinez and must make this decision on their own. To help you reach an objective, ethically sound choice, draw upon concepts and arguments from the suggested resources or your own research. Support your response with clear, concise, and correct examples, weaving and citing the readings and media throughout your answer.
Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
APA formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting guidelines.
Length: 2–3 typed, double-spaced pages.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
I HAVE ATTACHED THE CASE STUDY
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