Healing and Autonomy

Question 1

The actions taken by Mike are to him the best ways to help the child. Currently, Mike sees nothing wrong, and as a witness, one may sympathize with him and feel his struggles. The Christian view will commend the work done by Mike, for he trusts his faith. In Jesus’s teaching, he states that if one will have faith as little as the mustard seed, they can order the mountains to move, and it will move. However, in the case of the second deterioration of health due to the parents taking the faith route, the physician should help Mike and Joanne to understand the gravity of their action.

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Despite the doctor having a restriction on his action, he has the option of making them understand that life is worth believing while doing something. The bible indicates that people perish because of a lack of knowledge. In the Old Testament, there are instances of people seeking treatment, Elijah treating of water using salt, and Neman treated from leprosy by dipping himself in a pool.  At a closer look at the treatment of people in the bible, they will always be asked what they have. The physician should, therefore, not allow Mike and Joanne to make some irrational decisions in treating their son. Whenever necessary, the physician should intervene and not allow the repeat of the same effect on the child (Ferngren, 2016). The physician should involve the authorities to help them make the right decision.  Like in the first instance, it is always about beneficence for the patient.

Question 2

Christians respond differently to sickness and health. For some, it is a punishment from God. For some Christians, it is the testing of faith, and for some, God plans to achieve His purpose in them. However, in all the situations, they believe life is God-given, and its value is beyond human dictation. The belief of the New Jerusalem where there will be no suffering or sickness makes some feel that they must undergo suffering to achieve the best. To some, the belief is more that they fail in seeking the treatment. To a greater extent, some like the Jehovah witness group do not accept organ transplants or blood transfusions. Many Christians have made faith the medical camp. For example, the Christian Science Society does not accept any form of medical treatment, not even to an open wound.

Depending on the perception of Christians and their faiths, the responses in health cases vary. Many of the Christian faithful perish from their sicknesses due to their ignorance in seeking medical intervention (Koenig et al, 2012). Many Christians believe in the concept that by grace, they are healed. However, Jesus indicates in His teachings when asked about the tradition that He never came to change any rule but to make them right. There are various responses for the people incorporating the concept of medical intervention. Some argue that God uses someone to help out. They subscribe to the description of the faith without action is dead, James 2: 14-26. Some also argue that Christians should not forget to love themselves by neglecting their bodies in the quest for faith. They argue that for God to love one, they must make an effort to make their bodies out of sickness. The last group seeks mysterious healing from God, while others seek deliverance as a way of healing.

The principle of beneficence requires one to do good for the patient, and non-maleficence requires that one is not hurt or the person experiences not hurt. Therefore as a Christian, Mike should take James for the transplant while having the faith that God will heal him. He should not cease in prayer and should hold steadfast his faith. Besides, taking James to the church is not a bad idea, but it should be the regular prayers, but it should not act as a barrier to get the attention. Mike should know that the beneficence principle, in this case, should be benefitting the patient.

Moreover, he should know of the non-maleficence principle that requires one not to harm the patient. Taking James for prayers will be causing harm than good. It is understandable his attempts to help. However, his methods are doing more harm.

Question 3

The physician needs the assessment of spiritual needs of Mike and the family and friends to fully understand the spiritual subscription of Mike and his family and understand the standpoint of the patient (Swihart, & Martin, 2019). Spiritual subscriptions differ from one person to the next, and the standpoint of people based on medication also varies. Besides, the physician can have a benevolent authority in which Mike can submit too quickly. The church leader from Mike’s side can help him understand the gravity of the matter and make him change his take on the transplant. Moreover, if the spiritual subscription does not have the most notable help, the physician can seek help from the government authorities, knowing the stand of the family and the patient. The government authorities come in when the family has their faith before the child’s health.

Mike is trying to prove that faith can work for the second time. However, nobody knows at what point he would decide to rush the child back to the hospital in case the situation gets worse than it is currently. To some extent, the actions prove that Mike is more of a religious fanatic than a Christian. He places much emphasis on the religion than he does on the health of his child. Therefore, assessing his spiritual needs may also help those that we are afraid of going against his decision have the chance to express their thought. The physician will also choose the right cause for the treatment. His unrelenting faith is appreciated, but if it has to be at the expense of losing a life, it will not be helpful. Besides, his actions may also be for a show to prove that he has a stronger faith making him sluggish in making a decision. In totality that will help get help for them effectively. 


Koenig, H., Koenig, H. G., King, D., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health. Oup Usa.

Ferngren, G. B. (2016). Medicine and health care in early Christianity. JHU Press.Swihart, D. L., & Martin, R. L. (2019). Cultural Religious Competence In Clinical Practice. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing.

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