Patients/Spiritual Needs Case Analysis
Healthcare providers should allow their patients to exercise autonomy and make their own decisions regarding their health. However, it is an ethical dilemma to allow a patient to continue making the wrong decision, knowing that the decision may cause more harm to the patient (Walker, 2020). Similarly, in this case analysis, it may seem like disrespect for patient autonomy, but it is hard for the physician to allow Mike to continue making decisions that, to him, maybe irrational and may harm the patient.
For instance, when the doctor allowed Mike and Joan to try a miracle healing service rather than temporary dialysis, they returned two days later with their son’s condition deteriorating. The doctor had allowed them to exercise autonomy, but their decision had caused more harm to the patient since he now requires regular dialysis and a kidney transplant.
Despite respecting patient autonomy, I believe patient safety comes before other spiritual and religious beliefs that may influence patients’ decisions. The physician should try to make Mike and Joanne understand that the decision to wait for a miracle may cause more harm to James.
In light of the Christian worldview, God is a God of Miracles, and there is nothing He cannot do. Also, Christians should believe that God can help them out even in life and death. However, the physician should influence Mike to allow James to undergo treatment as they wait for the miracle. Thus, reducing James’ suffering and ensuring safety.
Ethical principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence are essential considerations in this case analysis. Beneficence means that the decisions should be made to the benefit of all parties. On the other hand, nonmaleficence implies that the decision should not cause harm. In light of the Christian worldview, the Christian should think of health as a precious gift that shows God’s love for a person. They should think of illnesses and sickness as a form of suffering, which may have or have not been caused by sin.
However, God gives people strength, peace, and calmness in times of trouble brought by sickness. God may use sicknesses to call people to repent their sins and draw them back closer to him. Among God’s names is Jehovah Rapha, meaning the healer. Thus, God heals and does not like seeing Christians suffering from illnesses.
A Christian should think of medical interventions as God’s gift to heal their disease. God gives people skills and knowledge of being physicians. Thus a Christian should honor them and seek medical help when ill. More so, even when Christ was performing healing miracles, he would take some actions: for example, when He used mud to open the blind man’s eyes.
More so, when considered in their specialties, Jesus’ healing ministry ranged from dermatology, healing skin disease to critical care, and healing the centurion’s servant who was about to die (McTavish, 2018). Thus, Christians should appreciate medical interventions and take action while waiting for healing miracles.
Based on the understanding of the Christian worldview, as a Christian, mike should allow his son to get the required medical attention as advised by the physician. Blindly waiting for a miracle to happen without taking action might cause more harm to his son.
More so, if he decides to have faith and wait for a miracle, and an irreversible consequence such as death happens, he might end up blaming God since he put all his faith in Him. Thus, he should honor the physician by taking his advice and allowing his son to undergo dialysis and kidney transplant, as he prays and believes in God for total healing.
To truly honor the beneficence and nonmaleficence ethical principles, Mike should ensure that the decision benefits James’ health and does not cause more harm. Therefore, he should reason that allowing James to get treatment will benefit both of them and help him reduce his suffering since it will save James’ life and improve his quality of life. In addition, he should appreciate that faith without action is dead.
According to MacTavish (2018), Christians should take action regarding their health while having faith and asking God to deliver them from illness and suffering. Thus, while trusting God for a miracle, he should take the action of allowing James to get medical attention. He should believe and trust God for healing while his son undergoes treatment.
Spiritual needs are the expectations an individual holds, helping them find meaning, purpose, and value in their life. A spiritual needs assessment is a dialogue held by a doctor and a patient aimed at helping the doctor to identify the patient’s spiritual needs, diagnose the unmet needs, and therefore develop care plans to address the unmet needs.
Marx (2018) states that a spiritual needs assessment helps the physician identify a patient’s spiritual preferences, thus incorporating the preferences and precepts of the patient’s traditions and faiths into the treatment plans. Spiritual needs assessment and addressing a patient’s spiritual needs also ensure the provision of high-quality and supportive care, thus enhancing patient satisfaction (Astrow et al., 2018).
A spiritual needs assessment would help the physician assist Mike in determining the appropriate intervention for James and his family or other people involved in his care by understanding their beliefs, values, their understanding of life and thus develop plans that address them. Spirituality plays a significant role in one’s illness.
It impacts health behavior and decisions, adherence to medication, and patients’ participation in health and treatment actions. By understanding the patient’s beliefs, values, and perceptions of health based on religion, the physician can plan on influencing the patient’s decision to ensure that it does not cause harm but considers their spiritual needs. For instance, a spiritual needs assessment on Mike would help him understand his values, beliefs, and perceptions, thus influencing him to make a decision that will support his needs and still not cause harm to his son.
- Astrow, A. B., Kwok, G., Sharma, R. K., Fromer, N., & Sulmasy, D. P. (2018). Spiritual needs and perception of quality of care and satisfaction with care in hematology/medical oncology patients: a multicultural assessment. Journal of Pain And Symptom Management, 55(1), 56-64. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.08.009
- Marx, H. (2018). Religion, medicine, and health. A Companion to Religion in Late Antiquity, 511-528. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118968130.ch24
- McTavish F. J. (2018). Jesus the Divine Physician. The Linacre Quarterly, 85(1), 18–23. https://doi.org/10.1177/0024363918761707
- Walker, R. L. (2020). The unfinished business of respect for autonomy: Persons, relationships, and nonhuman animals. In The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine, 45 (4-5), pp. 521-539. US: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmp/jhaa016
Benchmark – Patient\’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis
In addition to the topic Resources, 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?
Remember to support your responses with the topic Resources.
While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.
This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies: BS in Health Sciences 1.2; BS Nursing (RN to BSN ) 5.2 Assess for the spiritual needs and provide appropriate interventions for individuals, families, and groups.