Within the following case study

Within the following case study: “Healing and autonomy” while observing the Christianity Narrative which involves a family of four whom are grappling with one of the child’s acute illness that has reached a point of needing a kidney transplant within a year or he will succumb to the disease pathology. The family comprises of husband and wife, Mike and Joanne, and two boys who are identical twins age 8 years old, James and Samuel. In this case study a healthcare and spirituality conundrum has arisen and puts the family in a precarious dilemma. The family is to wrestle with making the correct moral and ethical decision regarding James and his worsening healthcare issues.
Mike and Joanne have a strong Christian faith and are the primary decision makers for their son, James in his health care matters. As the case study unfolds it reveals the struggle that Mike and Joanne have with maintaining religious autonomy by initially attempting to have their religion heal James only having to relinquish that autonomy, putting aside their spiritual faith and giving in to science to heal James. This decision also leads to several confusing and difficult questions with an additional layer of ethical and spiritual quandaries.
The first of a several of religious autonomy strains is when James first became ill with Streptococcus A that ultimately leads to acute kidney failure. With recommendations of James physician to undergo temporary hemodialysis to rest the kidney’s and assist with kidney recovery, Mike and Joanne opted not to undergo hemodialysis at that time and to put James rehabilitation in God’s hands. Mike became embolden by a recent sermon a week prior as well as being an eyewitness to a church member who regained mobility after suffering from a stroke through a prayer vigil. Mike thought that he would turn to God and his faith to heal James in lieu of undergoing the grueling process of hemodialysis. Two days later, Mike and Joanne returned to the physician’s office with James due to his further deteriorating health, ultimately being placed on hemodialysis. Mike’s faith is now in a tailspin that may not be recoverable. He is upset at himself for not treating his son sooner, moreover thinking from his Christian worldview that his faith was wondering or that this may be some sort of punishment from God. The second religious strain to Mike’s faith was with the prospect of James health having deteriorated to a point that he will need a kidney transplant to survive to the age of 9. The only suitable kidney donor within the allotted time constraint is Samuel, James identical twin brother. Further complicating this scenario is the peril of putting Samuel in a situation where he will only have one kidney himself.
Reflecting on the ethical and moral principles these individuals are facing are the following principles of nonmaleficence, autonomy and beneficence. The physician should take it upon himself to be very deliberate on how he speaks to this family as well as to explain all procedures and options in great detail. Keeping in mind the best treatment coarse that would cause the least amount of harm to the patient while respecting Mike’s and Joanne’s religious autonomy when making healthcare decisions for James. This notable principle approach is Beneficence.
Autonomy, as explained in the Christian Narrative, is the principle that states having respect for the decision-making capabilities of the autonomous person. Mike and Joanne have adjudicated to place James rehabilitation in the care of God and their faith. While collaborating health care decisions with James and his family the physician should respect Mike and Joanne’s world views and to treat James as a whole entity not just from the pathological perspective or scientism worldview. However, this initial decision led to James deteriorating health condition.
With James deteriorating health, we now have the nonmaleficence principle coming into perspective. Nonmaleficence states that people will not do harm to one another (GCU, 2015). It is with great importance that the parents of James be well educated to all procedures as well as their outcome. Furthermore, being assured to have their religious world views be in line with all medical therapies.
The physician, Mike and Joanne need to collaborate with one another to find the best approach when caring for James and his current health status. There needs to open lines of communication on behalf of all party’s members, making sure all is educated on both the pathological and spiritual aspects and addressing the needs of all parties involved. When harnessing the Christian worldview perspective, it should be understood that medicine and science can be used to serve God’s purpose and have a place in his grand plan. “We know the God of hope who fills us with peace and joy in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 15:13)”.
James current health condition now involves Samuel as the only participant that can potentially save his brother life. He was thrusted into a position that he may not be ready to be in, additionally he is too young to grasp the severity of the situation. Moreover, the parents may be making a decision possibly hastily and selfishly to save the one son but in actuality placing both sons in danger. To convolute the moral and ethical dilemma further is, should Samuel, who is otherwise healthy, be placed into a situation that would render him with only one kidney to save his brother’s life. The Christian worldview is that the creator placed everyone where they need to be and a kidney transplant may not be an option. Therefore, Mike, Joanne and James should not view this as a punishment from God, rather it is our healthcare choices that affect our health outcomes.
I, personally had a hard time digesting the elements of this case study. I think that the physician should’ve interjected a little bit more on the behalf of James. At the minimum he should’ve made sure to send James home with an antibiotic regiment in lieu of hemodialysis. It would be different if James was 18 years old but at the age of 8 should’ve pressed the issue a little bit more. I am a big proponent of Autonomy and freedom of religion but I think this may have been avoided if the physician attempted to educated the family on all possible outcomes as well as making sure the family understood the consequences of their decisions. Being a Christian myself and trying my hardest to view the case in this perspective but I couldn’t help to think that another outcome could’ve been reached. James is only 8 years old and innocent to the ways of the world and lacks the cognitive ability to fully grasp his situation, moreover, to make decisions of this caliber by himself. Everywhere I have worked this situation would have been handled much differently. There would’ve been more personal better suited to handle these types of situation involved from the start. Not to thwart or dismiss the parent ideals and religious beliefs but to better advocate for James and to best educate Mike and Joanne.