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Patient’s Spiritual Needs and Autonomy


Healthcare professionals should consider the principles of care delivery to ensure that they maximize the outcomes of their patients. Unfortunately, issues to do with religion can affect the decisions both patients and practitioners have to make. This discussion applies the standards of practice and how caregivers can follow them to meet the needs of James who is in need of a kidney transplant.

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Physician’s Decision

The presented case reveals that Mike and Joanne are against transplantation since it is against their wishes and expectations as Christian believers. However, the physician believes that Mike’s decisions are irrational and capable of harming James’ experiences and life outcomes. This issue presents an ethical dilemma that professionals in healthcare should not ignore. After analyzing the nature of the condition, the relationship between medical practice in Christianity, and James’ health expectations, the physician will apply the principles of justice, benevolence, autonomy, and nonmaleficence to deliver the best outcomes (Saad, 2018). With such aspects or concepts, the doctor will engage Mike and inform him about the significance of the kidney transplant as an evidence-based medical procedure.

Additionally, the family members will be informed in what way the practice does not challenge their beliefs. This initiative is essential since it follows the principles of nonmaleficence and benevolence. Although some people might suggest that a kidney transplant disrespects the autonomy of the patient, the initiative will result in healing, minimize the increased costs for dialysis, and will deliver positive health outcomes (Saad, 2018). All these aspects inform this kind of choice: contextual features, quality of human life, and medical indications. A timely kidney transplant means that James’ health condition will improve.

Christianity and Medical Intervention

Christianity is one of the major religious groups in the world today. Believers have unique values, attributes, and ideas that dictate the way they relate with others, solve complex challenges, and pursue their spiritual aims. The Christian worldview is also a powerful model that believers apply when formulating ethical decisions. For instance, followers of this faith believe that good health is a gift from God. Similarly, Christians understand that sickness is a common occurrence in the life of every person (Saad, 2018). Diseases remind such believers to re-pattern their faith and follow God’s commandments.

The issue of medical practice and intervention is not contradictory among members of this religion. Christians embrace various health procedures to overcome the problems they might face. It is also necessary for them to seek appropriate medical services and focus on the power of prayers (Sarkar & Seshadri, 2015). With this kind of information, it is evident that Mike will select the idea of a kidney transplant since it will result in positive health outcomes. However, the members of his family should be supportive and ensure that the targeted physician provides evidence-based medical support to James (Sarkar & Seshadri, 2015). Such a decision is based on the four principles of nursing and health practice. The intended kidney transplant will ensure that this patient overcomes his current health problems.

Through prayers, all family members should remain optimistic until James records positive health outcomes. Mike should also appreciate the fact that the provision of sustainable medical services to a Christian patient resonates with the principles of nonmaleficence and beneficence. The first principle guides Christians to love and empower others (Sarkar & Seshadri, 2015). The concept of beneficence means that people should do good to others. Such attributes mean that Mike will have honored these principles and ensure that his son gets high-quality medical care.

Spiritual Needs Assessment

Competent health practitioners and physicians should consider the relevance of providing holistic medical support to their patients. They can achieve this objective by assessing the spiritual needs of different people and their family members. Such a practice will make it possible for the physician to have a clear knowledge of Mike’s religious values, beliefs, and practices. The use of the proposed model will empower the professional to guide Mike to make the most appropriate decision (Saad, 2018). After completing this exercise, adequate resources will be identified that can impact the health experiences of all family members.

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The insights the physician gains can inform a powerful model for engaging different religious leaders, friends, and relatives to ensure that the best decisions are made. Consequently, the selected healthcare procedure will be acceptable and capable of increasing harmony among family members. After understanding the religious beliefs and values of Mike and Joanne, chances of providing the most appropriate medical intervention to James will increase (Saad, 2018). All participants involved in the care delivery process can consider such aspects to support the need for a kidney transplant.


The above discussion has supported the proposed medical procedure to meet James’ health needs. Since helping others is a core foundation or value of Christianity, Mike and the physician should support the proposed medical procedure to improve this patient’s health outcome. The use of spiritual needs assessment will ensure that Mike and other family members are supportive throughout the period.


Saad, T. C. (2018). The history of autonomy in medicine from antiquity to principlism. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 21(1), 125-137. Web.

Sarkar, S., & Seshadri, H. (2015). Dealing with requests for faith healing treatment. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 12(4), 235-237. Web.

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