Free Essay with the Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

Published: 2022-04-15
Free Essay with the Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative
Essay type:  Narrative essays
Categories:  Medicine Ethics Christianity
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1437 words
12 min read

According to Shelly, and Miller (2009), on the case study: Healing and Autonomy", Christian Biblical Narrative and visions of James's parents Mike and Joanne, the characters had struggled at arriving on the decision on the proper moral and ethical decisions concerning their health condition of their son. Both Mike and Joan have a firm Christian foundation, also the decision regarding the healing of their eight-year-old son kidney illness hangs on their neck. As stated in the case study, James' parents are consistent in religious anatomy; they fight in determination to rest the full responsibility of James' health condition on the care of God the creator or the physician.

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As time went on, autonomy tension was identified when James when streptococcus infection was diagnosed on James, leading to kidney failures hence requiring recommendation by the physician that according to James' condition, there will be the need for temporary dialysis. There was no other choice for James's parents Mike and Joanne other than to opt out for the dialysis and have faith that God's favor will be upon the issue. However, based on the parents' Christian faith, faith healing was a suitable path other than depending on the dialysis. However, throughout the study, there is no mentioning of whether the physicians struggled with the identification of the religious Autonomy, although, clearly recognizing it since the parents had abandoned their son to practice their faith-based healing. Soon after two days, James' parent returned to find out that their son's condition had worsened. In reflecting on their previous decision for not treating his son earlier and instead viewing the outcome from the Christina point of view, is perceived to be the punishment from God to his son. Another religious tension that Jame's parent encountered with the life and death situation of their son's condition was that the kidney transplant was required, where the only option to get the donor was Samuel, James' twin brother. The father was entangled in the dilemma of whether his son Samuel should lose one of his kidneys for the James, or James' health condition should be left in the shadow of a miracle from God.

On the other hand, in regards to the ethical and moral issues that these characters are handling, principles such as Nonmaleficence, Beneficence, and Autonomy come into play. It is the duty of the doctor to keep the patient away from any health risk that may occur and explain all the risks and significance of a particular medical health to the parents since they are the decision makers of their son,; but at the s, same time respect the Autonomy of the parents while considering to make decision for James. Therefore, this would be one of the Beneficence principles.

As stated by Lawrence. (2007), on the Biomedical Ethics in The Christian Narrative, Autonomy is a value that demands some acknowledgement as well as respect for its capabilities in decision-making for the people who are autonomous. James' parents decided to leave their son' life before God and rely on their faith-based healing. The duties of the physician are based on the fact that they have to respect such opinions and still attend to the patient comprehensively; although, such choice prompted to the worsening of James' health condition. In light of the decline of James' health condition, Nonmaleficence principle now gets involved needing people not to cause harm to others (xxxxx). It is significant for the parents to have the required education as well as understanding on the essence of healthy living about James worsening health status so that their needs are in perfect balance with the spiritual and medical healing for James.

James parents together with the physician are expected to collaborate in focuses on determining the proper decision for James new developing the health condition. They have to cumulatively work to get the preferred balance of spiritual needs together with the medical needs of the whole family as well as James. In this case, it will be demanding for the family to understand based on the Christian perspective that medicine is meant to attend on the interest of God's purposes and call. Therefore, everything is done entirely in light of Jesus's authority.

According to Shelly and Miller (2006), in her book Called to Care:A Christian worldview for nursing (2nd ed) they demonstrate through his work how God works:

"Living in God's true story, learning how he works out his purposes, trusting when we can't see him working: these all enable nurses to live in hope. We want to bear this hope to patients and colleagues (Eph 1:20-23). We do not need to merely "hope in hope." 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)."

Putting into account the idea that James' requirement of having kidney transplant requires his brother Samuel to be the donor rises some moral and ethical dilemma; whereby it is contemplated that, would one kid give out and live without one kidney for the sake of saving the life of his twin brother. About the Christian view on the matter, Gods want to use to be the creator to continue from where he left, though it is not clear whether it also included with the interfering with another healthy person. On the similar aspect, Mike and James are not supposed to perceive God as the one serving them with punishment. Instead, they need to know that it is all about the health decision that we make, that affects our health condition.

In my opinion, am contemplating on the case study based on the Christian beliefs on the situation at hand for both contemporary kind of healing and the faith on the God, though at some points I get contradicted. It is not ethical and profession for the parents to allow their kid to get healed through their religious faith healing. I believe and understand that every person has a freedom to practice their religious rights and articulate their religious views, though, in this case, James is an eight-year-old innocent child who life is at stake, and the parents are the ones who have the decision on the method to be used ease the pain of illness. I would like to say that, the action made by the parents relying on the faith healing of ailing kid is barbaric, primitive and idiotic because they are subjecting their child to anguish and suffering. In this modern world, there are advanced methods that have been introduced to handle different health issues to each the pain and heal the patient, if James' parents could only stay abreast with the contemporary healing plan at least James' health status could not have deteriorated.

Furthermore, according to the ethical, norms and moral guidelines of medical practitioners, the physician had gone against his code of conduct by allowing such activities to take place. Taking the child for the dialysis on top of antibiotics was not a right decision, especially when we consider that the patient's kidney condition was the server. If there could be more people involved in the decision making besides the parents and the physician, such as the social worker, a medical director, a child advocate, and quality relation's representative, at least the child's condition could not have worsened. The costly and poor decision made by the parents has led to the loss of the kidney hence turning to the twin brother for the kidney donation, something that could have been averted f serious and firm action could have been taking. Now things have taken an ugly turn, and the father is regretting the decision made for the child. I do respect every person's religious right, but that does not mean that based on our believes we have to make unreasonable decisions that will lead to harm and suffering to us or others. It is important to brainstorm with other professionals based on delicate and critical issues like health so that we can come up with the variety of practically effective decisions that will solve the issue. As for the hospitals that I have been operating, such kind of mistake could not have risen and extended this far; they would have identified it as CPS.


Meilaender, G. (2013). Bioethics: A Primer for Christians. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

Bioethics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2018). Retrieved 5 April 2018,

Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2009). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing. InterVarsity Press.Lawrence, D. J. (2007). The four principles of biomedical ethics: a foundation for current bioethical debate. Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, 14, 34-40.

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