Sometimes we face uncertain, challenging, and controversial decisions that are impossible to arrive at without any undesirable circumstances. Such situations are especially exacerbated when parents are obliged to render one of their child’s organs in order to save another son or daughter’s life. A similar situation is presented in a fascinating Christian narrative, which demonstrates the utter desolation of the ill child’s parents and will be discussed, evaluated, and analyzed below.
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Issues, Values, and Principles of Christians
One of the most significant problems in the text is an ethical issue, which implies the main character’s uncertainty. Although Michael is a Christian, he does not know which decision he has to make for the best outcome, as James (his son) needs a kidney transplant. The caring father hesitates about leaving this problem for God to solve it or taking his other son’s kidney as a transplant. However, a faith healing method is widespread in Christian circles (Sun, 2013).
Such experience requires people to pray about such decision and wait for the God’s answer. Christians are not supposed to rely on doctors, their own abilities, or unexpected help from other people (Sun, 2013). Instead, they are intended to pin their hopes on God because He is almighty and there is nothing impossible on Earth for Him. Nevertheless, the prayers did not help, which put the parents in an awkward situation – they either have to wait for a miracle, either take the brother’s kidney as a transplant. Therefore, the issue of incertitude is also prevalent in this narrative.
As it is evident from the text of the story, the faith of James’ parents is an essential thing of this family’s life, which cannot be disregarded. According to the principles and beliefs of Christians, the boy’s health is always under the God’s control, which let them refuse the necessary medical treatment. Therefore, they have to choose between their faith and intuition because true Christians always wait for a miracle (Sun, 2013). Furthermore, if they accept the help of professional doctors at this moment, which would be rational, they might have certain doubts about the God’s existence because they did not have a chance to witness his presence in their lives.
Another tremendous issue of the situation described above lies in moral principles, which makes the boy’s parents responsible for his possible death in the nearest future. On the other side of the coin, they give their other son, Samuel, a chance for a healthy and intact life. The given issue also influences the parents’ psychological condition and their mental factors because they try to analyze their lives after all possible outcomes of this vital challenge.
The physician that was asked to examine James and make a recommendation for his future medical treatment is also trapped in a tricky situation because he is obliged to do everything for James’ benefit. As the doctor understands and evaluates all the decisions made by the boy’s father to be irrational, he also faces the choice of letting or forbidding the parents to make such decisions and adjourn the consideration of this question. Although the doctor takes the parents’ faith into account, he cannot wait and see how James suffers as his condition is getting worse day by day.
As a doctor, the physician cannot let James suffer from the aforementioned issue and is expected to implement all possible actions that would reduce the intolerable harm caused to the patient. In my opinion, the professional doctor should have helped James’ parents to find the requisite organ, as he is more competent in such questions. Nevertheless, the doctor’s position is quite controversial because he is not the one who decides the patient’s destiny in this case (Mishra, Togneri, Tripathi, & Trikamji, 2015). Therefore, the only thing that would be proper for the physician to do is to make Michael aware of all possible risks, which might have an impact on the father’s decision-making.
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Analysis of the Medical Case
Nowadays, the person’s spirituality remains one of the most significant factors of one’s vital activities and humanity in general because it identifies one’s capacity for self-existence in today’s world. Moreover, if the Christians’ spiritual lifestyle and philosophy are likely to entail every lived experience on Earth, then such spheres as science and medicine might also be included in the meaning of spirituality (Mishra et al., 2015). As it is written in the discussed narrative, some personal persuasions and beliefs of the main character have a significant influence on the medical process.
The world’s medicine always required people to think logically, regardless of their beliefs, faiths or other spiritual factors because this science is based on the experiences of previous generations and conclusions as the facts of multiple experiments. However, the only competent person in this situation is Michael because he is mature enough and takes responsibility for his decisions, whereas James is not of his full age yet.
However, one might analyze this case as an example of the consociation of human’s spiritual values and healthcare standards, as there are many similar cases recently due to the population’s religious preferences.
How Should Michael Think as a Christian
I have outlined particular theories and explanations of a proper Christian’s attitude towards various illnesses and health in general, basing on the information given during the lecture. However, Any Christian is supposed to rely only on God, instead of waiting for help from professional doctors, family or other people because the Holy Scripture says that God can heal any sickness (Mishra et al., 2015). Moreover, He is able to resurrect dead people, as He did with Lazarus.
Nevertheless, a true Christian should not be expecting some supernatural and mystical methods of healing from God because the latter one is known for acting through other people. For instance, James might undergo an operation, which will be under control of God due to the boys’ parents’ prayers and faith.
The Bible says that God will never leave a person who truly believes and loves Him (Brown, 2013). Therefore, Michael did not see all possible ways of God’s actions through various people. Unfortunately, there are many individuals who do not understand the God’s way of thinking because he provides His children with required help or support mostly in unexpected ways (Brown, 2013). It is a big mistake – to wait for some magical or supernatural activities from Him because people would not believe in Him under such circumstances. It is impossible to believe in something when one has witnessed and was assured of God’s power. However, the Holy Spirit wants people to believe and rely on Him in tough situations that He will certainly take under His control.
Michael, as a Christian, should let the whole church be aware of the aforementioned problem with his son’s kidney, whereas other people from the church should be praying to God and asking Him to heal James. Moreover, it would be proper for Michael to pray for doctors also because God might be acting and helping through their knowledge, skills, and experience. Nevertheless, they are humans and might commit certain mistakes during the forthcoming operation. God is able to prevent such failings due to His power and influence on all creations on Earth.
In my opinion, medical treatment might be disregarded by a Christian only in non-significant situations, such as a headache, sore throat, fatigue, and so on. If the health issue is crucial and requires the doctors’ intervention – it is necessary to ask for the professionals’ help. As it was mentioned above, the latter case does not mean that a person who undergoes and requires medical treatment is unbeliever and does not rely on God’s power because He will take all the necessary medical processes under control.
Perhaps, Michael needs to get a pastor’s recommendation in order to understand the best way of solving such a tricky situation and healing his son. There is also another theory about this case – if James is a true believer, if he loves God with all his heart and soul, the Holy Spirit might want to take the boy to His Kingdom in heaven (Brown, 2013). Such situation is very common among Christians because heaven is a better place for them to live in. Therefore, many believers are happy for their friends who depart, instead of crying about their death.
There are many instances in which Christian people do not see God’s actions due to their limited thinking and their wrong interpretation of particular places and verses in the Bible. According to the Holy Scripture, God will always help people because we are all his children. Nevertheless, a human’s mind might consider His help harmful or not effective because people do not know what is better for a particular person in reality. Sometimes death is the best outcome for a Christian individual.
Brown, C. G. (2013). The healing gods: Complementary and alternative medicine in christian America. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Mishra, S. K., Togneri, E., Tripathi, B., & Trikamji, B. (2015). Spirituality and religiosity and Its role in health and diseases. Journal of Religion and Health, 56(4), 1282-1301. Web.
Sun, J. (2013). Medical implication in the Bible and its relevance to modern medicine. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 11(6), 416-421. Web.