Case Study Analysis: Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

Various professionals have regulations that govern their conduct in their respective places of work. Nursing is not an exception, and one of the requirements of healthcare providers includes observing the code of ethics. Ethics is useful for nursing practice because it helps nurses to observe their morals and regulate their conduct during practice. For example, some approaches to patient treatment such as organ donations can cause dilemmas during ethical decision-making. However, a nurse must make a decision that should lead to the satisfaction of all parties involved. Examining the case study with a focus on the pressing issues, necessary decisions, and detailed analysis of attitude to illness and treatment from the Christian perspective can help nurses to make valid choices when they encounter ethical dilemmas.

Pressing Issues

Some situations from the case study are critical concerning the subject of the Christian narrative and Christian vision. For instance, the family under analysis, Mike and Joanne, belongs to the Christian faith and has a strong belief in the healing power of God. Therefore, it is expected that they should prioritize divine interventions in the management of diseases. When Mike and Joanne took James to the health facility, he had strep throat infection complications, which indicates that the parents did not seek any medical care for their son initially, when the disease could have been treated adequately. They decided to prioritize divine intervention over healthcare recommendations with a belief that the divine power could heal James. However, James never recovered from the disease, which led to kidney failure and prompted the family to seek medical care in the hospital.

Besides, initially, the physician recommended dialysis when Mike and Joanne were in the hospital. Mike could not decide individually, and he decided to consult Joanne before allowing the doctor to do the procedure on James. Eventually, both parents disregarded treatment. This issue was critical because their beliefs made them decline therapeutic measures that could have helped James recover from his illness. Despite that, the parents are justified because according to the Christian narrative, Jesus healed a woman with bleeding problems due to her complete faith in him (Mathew 9: 25-34). Thus, Mike and Joanne thought that their son could also recover because of the same healing power, which did not happen because James’ health deteriorated. Furthermore, both Mike and Joanne relied on church sermons and testimonies, which eventually proved futile. These issues were critical for the boy’s health, as faith did not yield the desired results.

Moreover, Mike views the donation of a kidney from Samuel to James as a challenge rather than a possibility of helping James recover from his illness. At that time, Mike thought that increasing his faith could probably result in better health outcomes for James. Although his beliefs are relevant from the religious perspective, Kaspar, Bholah, and Bunchman (2016) argue that kidney transplant is a necessary procedure, and if not done, the death of a patient who does not undergo dialysis is inevitable. Further, Mike could have known these consequences, but the Christian narrative requires people to have a complete faith in God to overcome trials (2 Corinthians 4: 8-9). Therefore, no information was enough to convince Mike if it was not related to believing in God. Most importantly, Mike needed advice that could align with the Christian vision of meeting Jesus when he comes.

Mike’s Decisions on James

The doctor should have let Mike make decisions for James since he bears the responsibility of decision-making for his son. According to Jacob et al. (2016), parents are the sole decision-makers for their children on health matters. However, the scholars also assert that to enhance the health outcomes of children, healthcare providers should share the decision-making process with the parents (Jacob et al., 2016). Therefore, Mike was justified to make the final decisions for James, but the doctor should have ensured that he had adequate information regarding the pathogenesis of kidney failure and possible outcomes. It would lead to better decisions that could improve health outcomes for James. For example, Mike was unaware of the benefits of dialysis when he rejected it. Moreover, he sought advice from his wife, yet she was not a qualified medical practitioner. The uninformed decision to forego dialysis resulted in kidney failure and the need for a transplant. Teaching Mike about the grave consequences of neglecting treatment could have facilitated his reasoning with the doctor. Consequently, the parents could have made relevant decisions and thus facilitated James’ recovery from the disease.

Analysis of the Case

The decision to decline treatment was justified since parents were the sole decision-makers for James. Under the Christian narrative, people should protect their bodies, as they are holy (1 Cor 6: 19 NIV). Therefore, as Christian parents, Mike and Joanne protected their son, as the temple of God, from intrusion. Similarly, the decision to prioritize divine intervention over treatment shows that both parents had complete belief in God. Due to patient autonomy, the physician allowed the parents to exercise their right to decision-making, thus indicating that he respected their decision. According to Bailes, Rachel, and Keller (2014), ensuring patient autonomy is one of the important ethical responsibilities of healthcare providers. Therefore, the physician could not be subjected to any legal concerns upon the deterioration of James’s clinical outcomes. Finally, the decision to decline organ donation from Samuel was justified because the parents trusted in the power of God. However, both parents needed proper and lengthy health education to make appropriate decisions for their son.

How a Christian Should Think about Health and Sickness

The readings and the lecture indicate that although faith is necessary, Christians should comprehend different approaches to solving health problems. Thus, they should use their beliefs in finding solutions to health problems. For instance, some researchers such as Sim?o, Caldeira, and de Carvalho (2016) assert that having faith and praying before and after medical interventions facilitates patient recovery. However, limited literature exists about the impact of faith on treating diseases. For that reason, although having strong belief in God is necessary, Christians should not disregard health interventions because they are necessary for recovery from disease. Combining the two methods would have ensured that Mike and Joanne protected their Christian values and their son benefited from health interventions.

Mike’s Action as a Christian

Mike should follow the recommendations of the doctor to ensure that James heals from the disease. However, Mike should believe in his God and pray as James undergoes the required procedures. Additionally, Mike should not think that healthcare interventions are evil. However, he should reason that God blesses the doctor to care for other people, including James. Such reasoning can help him to accept healthcare recommendations from the doctor and further facilitate James’ recovery.

Many patients in different healthcare facilities make decisions that are inappropriate and can affect their health outcomes negatively. The case study that involves Mike and Joanne and their sons, James and Samuel, is one of the many instances of dilemmas that healthcare providers encounter in everyday practice. The case study teaches that disregarding therapeutic recommendations because of faith can lead to the deterioration of the health of an individual. Therefore, recipients of medical care should embrace the advice of healthcare providers before making their final decision. Additionally, healthcare providers should respect the viewpoints of the patients regardless of the associated potential harmful effects. However, medical staff, particularly nurses, must warn patients of the possible outcomes of their decisions. Studying such ethical issues is useful because it can help healthcare providers understand the ways of dealing with dilemmas in the healthcare environment.

About the author: Alisa Parker is a master in Literature at the University of Massachusetts. She is currently working as one of the best writers at apa paper writing service She also studies male psychology.
Posted in Default Category on December 09 2021 at 09:37 AM

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