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?
Remember to support your responses with the topic study materials.
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.
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This benchmark assignment assesses the following competencies:
BS Nursing (RN to BSN)
5.2: Assess for the spiritual needs and provide appropriate interventions for individuals, families, and groups.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis
Recent advances in technology have had significant transformation of the healthcare industry. In one way, however, the service and cure-oriented model has been abandoned by the introduction of various technological practices in spirituality (Mesquita et al., 2017). In the past, healthcare was often linked with spirituality, where healthcare givers served to incorporate the physical, social, spiritual, and emotional being to healthcare. Nurse leaders and nurse educators today are encouraged to actively re-introduce this compassionate consideration of the patients’ spiritual needs (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). This essay involves the analysis of a case of James, an 8 y.o. pt. whose parents are confused at the level or extent to which they should encourage spirituality in his health.
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 further mistakes to happen in the case of James, and should not let Mike, his father to continue making faulty decisions for him. The initial presentation of the case of James to the facility was clear that the only needed intervention after an infection of acute glomerulonephritis was to perform a kidney dialysis and then with the aid of an antibiotic, he would easily recover. However, Mike, together with his wife Joanne, decided to forego the dialysis and opted to trust their faith in God. The main reason they made the decision is the fact that they had received a touching sermon that encouraged them to have more trust in God at difficult times. However, their plan on using ‘faith’ as the only weapon failed and they had to come up for an even more serious procedure. I would therefore not allow Mike to express more of spirituality than healthcare in the issue of James, as this would put him to more danger.
The principle of autonomy requires that the patient should make their own judgment regarding their health matters, and since James is too young, his parents reserve the rights for that position (Zwitter, 2019). Mike and Joanne, have the autonomy to make the decision for the child, by judging what’s most fit for them. However, as a healthcare provider, I have the right to stop them, especially if their ability to judge is blinded by faith. I can only allow them to make the principle of autonomy if they are capable of making rational decisions for Mike.
How Christians Ought to Think Regarding Faith and Health and Medical Intervention
Christians need to realize that spirituality and health are two interconnected concepts, whose expression in a patient should be done in the right proportions. They should also understand that medical interventions are mostly physical precepts that could have some spiritual element in them (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). Unfortunately for some Christians, they feel that a sickness could be a curse from God, and hence spiritual intervention is enough intervention.
How Mike should do as a Christian Regarding Non-Maleficence and Beneficence in the Light of the Case of James
James suffers from kidney failure, has glomerulonephritis, and hypertension. If his initial needs for a dialysis were met, he would have recovered easily from the excessive fluid build-up that he faced, but the parents decided to pray for him rather than help him with the dialysis. The replacement of James’s kidney with that of his brother Samuel is the only truly helpful decision that can take place. Mike ought to accept that by committing himself to such a decision, he does the most rational thing for Mike in both the Christian and Worldview.
As a healthcare giver, I would be obliged to honor the principle of beneficence and non-maleficence, which requires me to make decisions that promote overall good and avoid harm respectively. Hence, I would ask James to understand that the decision to take Samuel’s Kidney and not to wait and gamble again with the spiritual intervention would be for the best interest. I would explain to him that the overall good could not be perceived as something that one is unsure of, as this would lead to permanent disability or even death of the child.
How A Spiritual Needs Assessment Would Help the Physician Assist Mike Determine Appropriate Interventions for James, His Family, or Others Involved In His Care
A spiritual needs assessment is one of the practices that could help the patients to ‘come to terms with’ their condition by helping them have a deeper understanding of the problem they face (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). In the case of James, it is clear that Mike and Joanne, the parents, would also need an assessment, as they seem to have an imbalance between their spirituality and health. In the spiritual assessment, a physician should examine the exact understanding of suffering according to the people affected. In some of the cases, patients who feel that the suffering encountered has more meaning in their life often decide to give spiritual intervention a priority in their care (Koepsell, 2017). The inability of patients to understand the deepest questions of life, especially regarding their care, can be understood in such a spiritual intervention.
A spiritual needs intervention would include the examination of the friends of James, as well as the colleagues of his parents, including how they interact (Austin et al., 2017). After a comprehensive analysis of the spiritual needs, it would be clear about the principles of ethics that are more applicable than others in the care of James. For instance, a healthcare giver would be sure to explain to Mike and Joanne about the importance of making a decision that greatly reduces the harm or the risk of harm to the patient. Promoting recovery of James would also require the healthcare giver to take the principle of autonomy as the last consideration in this case, where they would recommend that the transplant from Samuel, the brother, to be conducted.
Different principles of ethics serve to guide healthcare givers in various instances, where they should honor the patients’ decision, protect them from harm, and also act in the interest of improving their health. Given the position of a physician handling the case of James, I would not allow his parents to use spiritual intervention as the only solution, as this would endanger the life of James even more. Conducting a spiritual needs assessment would also help a physician to have a broader understanding of the whole problem.
Austin, P., Macleod, R., Siddall, P., McSherry, W., & Egan, R. (2017). Spiritual care training is needed for clinical and non-clinical staff to manage patients’ spiritual needs. Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 7(1), 50-63.
Koepsell, D. (2017). Autonomy, Dignity, Beneficence, and Justice. In Scientific Integrity and Research Ethics (pp. 61-71). Springer, Cham.
Mesquita, A. C., Chaves, É. D. C. L., & Barros, G. A. M. D. (2017). Spiritual needs of patients with cancer in palliative care: an integrative review. Current opinion in supportive and palliative care, 11(4), 334-340.
Timmins, F., & Caldeira, S. (2017). Assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Nursing Standard (2014+), 31(29), 47.
Zwitter, M. (2019). Ethical Analysis. In Medical Ethics in Clinical Practice (pp. 29-34). Springer, Cham.
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