Assignment: Healing And Autonomy
Assignment: Healing And Autonomy
The given case study is about Mike and Joanne. They are Samuel and James parents. James has been diagnosed with acute glomerulonephritis, kidney failure. According to James’s physician, James requires to undergo dialysis as a way of maintaining his kidney functions. However, James’s parents are of the opinion that he seeks religious healings from his pastor. The physician agrees to their decision only for James to be brought back two days later with worsening health status. He was started on dialysis and requires urgent kidney transplant. Therefore, this research paper examines the case study with a focus on the various aspects that should be considered for the health and wellbeing of James.
Should the Physician Allow Mike to Continue Making Decisions that Seem to him to be Irrational and Harmful to James?
The physician should not allow Mike to make decisions that irrational and harmful to James. Firstly, healthcare providers have the obligation of ensuring that the safety of the patient is protected. They make decisions that aim at optimizing the wellbeing, health, and recovery of the patients from their conditions (Scott, 2017). Healthcare providers also play the role of patient advocates. This implies that they fight for their patients in situations where their health and lives are at risk. An example is the case study where it is evident that Mike’s decisions are causing more harm to James than promoting his recovery.
The physician also has knowledge on issues that cause ethical dilemmas in his practice. An example of such issue is the conflict between respecting the autonomy of the caregivers and taking decisions that promote the health and wellbeing of the patient. In such situations, healthcare providers are expected to make ethical decisions that will not only protect the health of the vulnerable but also demonstrate prioritization of the health issues affecting the population. Consequently, the physician should not allow Mike to make decisions in a way that facilitates the understanding of the family. This includes explaining to the family about the prognosis of their son and possible outcomes if immediate interventions are not adopted.
The decision of not allowing Mike to make decisions concerning James’s health is not a violation of the autonomy of the patient. The physician will instead be promoting his autonomy by ensuring that the best interventions are used to promote his health. Healthcare providers often experiences ethical dilemmas in their practice. In such situations, they are expected to prioritize the needs of the patient, hence, the soundness of the decision made.
How Ought Christians Think about Sickness and Health? How should a Christian Think about Medical Intervention? What Should Mike as a Christian do? How should he Reason about Trusting God and Treating James?
There exist significant differences in the way in which Christians and physicians view or understand a disease. For healthcare providers, a disease arises from a change in the normal physiological processes in the body. However, this view might be different according to religion. For example, it can be seen from the case study that Mike and Joanne are strong believers of Christianity. They believe that everything that happens in their lives is attributed to God. According to some Christians, a disease is a symbol of God’s test of their faith or believes. They consider that a disease is something that God sent to them to know if they have strong faith in him. The best approach to an illness to such Christians is holding to a belief that the disease will heal by itself once God is through testing them. God is therefore the healer. Some Christians also perceive a disease to be God’s punishment. According to them, God sends a disease to human beings as a way of showing his dissatisfaction with their behaviors. As a result, they must live in ways that align with God’s teachings for the disease to be healed. The last group of Christians perceives physicians or healthcare providers to be sent by God to help them manage their diseases. In this case, the healthcare providers assist God in promoting the health and wellbeing of his creations. Mike’s family perceives James’s condition as God’s test of his faith in him. Therefore, the strongly believe that God will heal him once he has finished testing their faith.
It is therefore important that Christians consider medical interventions as part of the ways in which God’s efforts to promoting health and wellbeing are promoted. They should believe that medical interventions would enable them to see the doings of God through their recovery from the disease. Based on this, Mike should allow medical interventions to be utilized for the recovery and wellbeing of his son. He should have faith in God that the dialysis and kidney transplant will restore his son’s health. He should also consider the physician and other healthcare providers as part of the angels of God. Therefore, he should hold on the belief that God’s intentions will manifest through their medical interventions. Through this, Mike will be promoting beneficence and non-maleficence by ensuring that the safest care is given to his son. Furthermore, the decision will eliminate any future blames if medical interventions prove ineffective in promoting James’s recovery.
How Would Spiritual Needs Assessment Help the Physician Assist Mike Determine Interventions for James and for his Family or Others involved in his Care
Spiritual assessment is an important component in the provision of holistic care to the patients. Spiritual assessment would have benefited the effective management of James’s condition in a number of ways. Firstly, the physician could have learned about the spiritual needs of the family and their relationship with the care needed by the patient. It would have enabled him to explore the manner in which medical interventions can be used in a manner that does not conflict with the interests and expectations of the family. Spiritual assessment could have also enabled the physician to identify the teams that should be involved in making decisions on the care needed by the patient (Doreen, 2016). For example, he would have considered the need for incorporating the efforts of the family’s spiritual leader in deciding on the best treatment approach for the patient.
Spiritual needs assessment would have also enabled the physician to identify the family’s values, beliefs, and practices that are needed to ensure the adoption and sustainability of the adopted interventions. He could have also learned about the ways in which his values, beliefs, and practices are likely to influence the treatment decisions for the patient. For example, being medical personnel, he would have used biblical examples to increase the understanding of the family about the need for medical interventions (Doreen, 2016). Through it, he could have made them understand the interrelationship between medicine and religion.
In summary, the case study has shown the manner in which religion can influence the uptake of health interventions. It has revealed the manner in which the religious beliefs of the patients need to be incorporated into care for optimum health to be achieved. Therefore, it is important that healthcare providers incorporate spiritual assessment into their plans of care. This will enable them to provide care that promotes optimum health, wellbeing, and recovery of their patients.
Doreen, A. W. (2016). Spirituality in nursing practice: The basics and beyond. Springer Publishing Company.
Scott, P. A. (Ed.). (2017). Key concepts and issues in nursing ethics. Springer.
In addition to the topic study materials, use the chart you completed and questions you answered in the Topic 3 about “Case Study: Healing and Autonomy” as the basis for your responses in this assignment.
Answer the following questions about a patient’s spiritual needs in light of the Christian worldview.
- In 200-250 words, respond to the following: Should the physician allow Mike to continue making decisions that seem to him to be irrational and harmful to James, or would that mean a disrespect of a patient’s autonomy? Explain your rationale.
- In 400-500 words, respond to the following: How ought the Christian think about sickness and health? How should a Christian think about medical intervention? What should Mike as a Christian do? How should he reason about trusting God and treating James in relation to what is truly honoring the principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence in James’s care?
- In 200-250 words, respond to the following: How would a spiritual needs assessment help the physician assist Mike determine appropriate interventions for James and for his family or others involved in his care?