Healing And Autonomy: The Most Pressing Issues, (Case Study Sample)
write a 1,200-1,500 word analysis of "Case Study: Healing and Autonomy." In light of the readings, be sure to address the following questions:
Under the Christian narrative and Christian vision, what sorts of issues are most pressing in this case study?
Should the physician allow Mike to continue making decisions that seem to him to be irrational and harmful to James?
According to the Christian narrative and the discussion of the issues of treatment refusal, patient autonomy, and organ donation in the topic readings, how might one analyze this case?
According to the topic readings and lecture, how ought the Christian think about sickness and health? What should Mike as a Christian do? How should he reason about trusting God and treating James?
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA
Case Study: Healing and Autonomy
Mike and Joanne are the parents of James and Samuel, identical twins born eight years ago. James is currently suffering from acute glomerulonephritis, kidney failure. James was originally brought into the hospital for complications associated with a strep throat infection. The spread of the A streptococcus infection led to the subsequent kidney failure. James' condition was acute enough to warrant immediate treatment. Usually cases of acute glomerulonephritis caused by strep infection tend to improve on their own, or with an antibiotic. However, James also had elevated blood pressure and enough fluid buildup that required temporary dialysis to relieve.
The attending physician suggested immediate dialysis. After some time of discussion with Joanne, Mike informs the physician that they are going to forego the dialysis and place their faith in God. Mike and Joanne had been moved by a sermon their pastor had given a week ago, and also had witnessed a close friend regain mobility when she was prayed over at a healing service after a serious stroke. They thought it more prudent to take James immediately to a faith healing service instead of putting James through multiple rounds of dialysis. Yet Mike and Joanne agreed to return to the hospital after the faith healing services later in the week, and in hopes that James would be healed by then.
Two days later the family returned, and was forced to place James on dialysis, as his condition had deteriorated. Mike felt perplexed and tormented by his decision to not treat James earlier. Had he not enough faith? Was God punishing him or James? To make matters worse, James kidneys had deteriorated such that his dialysis was now not a temporary matter, and was in need of a kidney transplant. Crushed and desperate, Mike and Joanne immediately offered to donate one of their own kidneys to James, but they were not compatible donors. Over the next few weeks, amidst daily rounds of dialysis, some of their close friends and church members also offered to donate a kidney to James. However, none of them were tissue matches.
James' nephrologist called to schedule a private appointment with Mike and Joanne. James was stable, given the regular dialysis, but would require a kidney transplant within the year. Given the desperate situation, the nephrologist informed Mike and Joanne of a donor that was an ideal tissue match, but as of yet had not been considered—James' brother Samuel.
Mike vacillates and struggles to decide whether he should have his other son Samuel lose a kidney, or perhaps wait for God to do a miracle this time around. Perhaps this is where the real testing of his faith will come in? “This time around, it is a matter of life and death, what could require greater faith than that?” Mike reasons.
Healing and Autonomy
Healing and Autonomy
The issue of faith has increasingly gained popularity in the medical field. Physicians have often found themselves in difficult positions when for example patients refuse treatment by citing their faith. Conversely, patients have also found themselves in difficult positions especially when physicians refuse to conduct certain procedures because of their faith. Initially, the issue of spirituality was not given the required attention but currently, the issue has gained worldwide popularity and everyone in the medical field seems to have an opinion. According to Puchalski (2009), currently, “more than 75 percent of medical schools teach topics related to spirituality and health, and hospitals are beginning to develop spirituality programs to increase the delivery of compassionate care.” Finding common ground between health care and faith or spirituality is not easy and often leads to divisions as the parties involved never seem to agree on the best approach. In the case under study, the parents' profound belief and faith in God makes it difficult for the physicians to work or perform the required procedure on James. While freedom of worship is universal, one wonders whether such decisions should be in the hands of parents.
The most pressing issues in the case study
The first pressing issue in the case study is the simple fact that James is in need of medical attention. James' condition is quite serious and warrants medical attention. As is always the case, whenever faith and health care clash, there is always a person whose life is in danger. James, an eight year old boy, was in the middle of his parents' quest to test their faith in God. Instead of putting the life of their child first, the parents decided to put their faith first which is not a bad thing but on this occasions helped to worsen James' condition.
The second pressing issue is the physician's say on the matter of James. Hospitals and health care organizations often strive not to interfere with patients' faith and beliefs. As a result of their actions, cases similar to that of James have been prevalent and some have even resulted to death. The above, therefore, begs the question, should physicians interfere or act against a patient's faith if they believe the patient's condition is worsening? Like in the case under study, if the physician had acted, James' health would not have deteriorated like it did.
The last pressing issue is the question: who should be held responsible for James' worsened state? The physician knew that James badly needed treatment and from the case study, he never took any action against the parents after they suggested to forego the dialysis. There is also no indication of him trying to convince the parents to let James take the treatment. Conversely, the parents in their quest to strengthen their faith helped to worsen the condition of their sick child. While there could be no rules or laws against their actions, should they still be blamed for their actions?
Should a physician allow mike continue making harmful decisions to James?
In most occasions, the physician's hands are always
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