Case Study Of Healing and Autonomy Assignments

Case Study Of Healing and Autonomy Assignments

Case Study Of Healing and Autonomy Assignments


Christianity is not a branch of science where patients can be referred to with the view that one should believe in God if it helps him or her(Keller, 2015). If it is the truth, the physician can also commit to it wholly. However, it is important to balance both physical and spiritual life.manyChristians, faith, and belief in God impact their life positively(Keller, 2015). Integrated healing can be incorporated however not by abusing the health service position by concentrating on the patient's spiritual needs(Rykkje, Eriksson &Riholm, 2011). It is a challenging task for the healthcare network providers agreeing about the health of somebody(Koenig et al., 2012). In the case study, mike and Joanne have to make difficult decisions concerning the care of their son James who has kidney failure, needs dialysis and a kidney transplant. Their decision to withhold the dialysis to take him to the healing service by the teachings of the bible made the condition worse. They later decided to proceed with his care on dialysis until a kidney transplant was possible. James’ identical brother was the solution. The essay will focus on the ethical issues in the case study, the Christian principles and their effect on ethical decision making.

Pressing issues under Christian narrative and Christian vision

The ethical issues present in the case study are many. There is a contrasting issue between believing in healing from God and healing through scientific methods. Even after being informed of the urgent need for dialysis, mike and Joanne chose to postpone their son’s treatment to take him to a healing service which makes his situation worse. His son had to be put on dialysis without any question now. Mike also struggles to know whether God is testing or punishing him. He had to choose the right thing for his son.

In most cases, Christians prefer faith healing than the physician's treatment(Keller, 2015). Mike and Joanne trusted the sermon from the pastor more after they had seen a friend of their healed from a stroke. James in this case also is a minor who has to rely on his parents' decisions. In this case, it is unethical since it almost cost them life. In the healthcare, chances are either one may die or live. It is the role of the medics to deliver the information to the patient and the family members regarding any possibilities (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). Despite our view of Christianity we still need doctors to heal.

Another ethical issue is on the kidney transplant. To Christians, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and should not be tampered with. The issue of organ transplant is a controversial issue regarding their view of the body. In our case study, this was the only way James could survive by being donated a kidney to by his brother since it was the only match and needed to be carried out before the end of the so that he survives. To Christianity this is unethical. Again mike sees this as another test of faith by God. His two sons were now involved, and he didn’t know how to approach the matter.

Mike’s decision making against the physician’s responsibility

It is the responsibility of the parents to make decisions for their children until they grow up. This includes even the matters of beliefs and practices. In the case study, Mike ignores the suggestions of the doctor and chooses to continue putting his faith in God even when urgency was required. The physician had offered an appropriate treatment for James. Physicians are also required to respect the autonomy of the patient or the family by giving the information needed to understand the risks and benefits of proposed interventions as well as alternatives so that they make independent decisions(Billings &Krakauer, 2011). However, some philosophers maintain that patients’ autonomy can be restricted if there is a threat of severe harm to the patients’ well-being(Mitchell, 2014) (Pollak et al., 2011). In this case, James’ life was being threatened. The physician ought to talk with the family and try to make them understand while not restricting their decisions.

Christian narrative, treatment refusal, patient autonomy, and organ donation

Mikes' refusal of his son's treatment was continuing to inflict more pain on him and the whole family. A Christian view of health requires that the community recognize illness so that the one who is sick may be restored to health but more importantly remains part of the community service even if their health is not restored. When it comes to health, Christians would want so much to get well but are not ready to look for the cure (Keller, 2015). To Mike, he wanted to see his son well but was reluctant to heed the physician’s advice and chose to continue believing in miracles.

The physician must convey the message to the patient guide them on the priorities and treatment plan. It is upon the autonomy of the patient to decide on which one to go for(Billings &Krakauer, 2011). It was his duty to analyze the negative and positive outcomes of the organ transplant to the donor and the recipient of the organ and explain it to the parents. Medical practitioners are guided by the patients’ autonomy(Bulger, 2013)(Mitchell, 2014). In the case of James, the transplant of the kidney would only proceed if the father agreed to it after the physicians’ explanations. According to Christians God wants them the way they are and trying to alter anything will be correcting Him. Earlier on Pope John Paul had also stated that human organs should not be commercialized or to consider them as items for an exchange since it was morally unacceptable and violates the dignity of the human person(Oliver, Ahmed &Woywodt, 2012). He also noted that organ transplant should not pose any risks to the donor and should be consented to by him or her. In this case, it was unethical.

Christian views on sickness and health

The body of a Christian is for glorifying the creator who is God. That body, which is also baptized, is modeled by their creator’s practices where suffering, illnesses, and death are considered not to be an enemy (Clinebell&McKeever, 2011). This is because suffering is a gift that cements the relationship with God and others. On the side of health, it is an act of love that brings them together in times of sicknesses and health (Clinebell&McKeever, 2011). It is a meditation of God’s love. To be part of the Christian community, sickness and health must be recognized(Keller, 2015). Their understanding is that the difference between the two should be viewed as a gift which promotes peace for human continuity. Health to Christians means its fine to hold each other liable when the choices being made to affect the health of somebody negatively in a way which prevents them from fully participating in God’s service. In this case, it is the reliance on Christ even when facing the reality of illness and death. In the case, Mike as a Christian should learn how to suffer without losing hope. He should continue praying for his son and sit with him even on the verge of his death. We cannot be separated from the love of God by the suffering of those we love. Illness destroys the illusions and confidence that were are in control. Christians should learn how to live out of control. Mike should continue trusting and having faith in God that his son will be healed.


In the case study, "Healing and Autonomy" needs contributions and understanding from both parties. Mike believing in God and waiting for him to heal his son was different from that of the physician who believed that urgent kidney transplant was needed for his son's survival. Christianity and science have always had conflicting views but doesn't mean an agreement can’t be sought out. Mike's faith seems not to work. Christianity should, therefore, be the community that sustains the bodies that the field of medicine cares for. Medicine instills trust, reflects through the story of caring for the sick in which Christians were also baptized.


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