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PHI-413V Benchmark Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Example

PHI-413V Benchmark Patient's Spiritual Needs Case Analysis ExampleAssignment Brief: PHI-413V Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis


The purpose of this assignment is to analyze a case study involving the postponement of medical intervention based on religious beliefs and to explore the ethical implications of such decisions. The case study revolves around the decisions made by a parent, Mike, for his son, James, considering spiritual beliefs and their impact on healthcare choices.

Understanding Assignment Objectives:

Decision-Making and Autonomy:
  • Analyze the crucial ethical principles of patient autonomy and decision-making.
  • Examine the challenges presented when dealing with minors and parental decisions.
  • Assess the ethical and legal responsibilities of healthcare professionals in cases where parental decisions may pose harm to the patient.
  • Evaluate the application of the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence in pediatric healthcare.
Christian View Regarding Health and Sickness:
  • Explore the influence of religious beliefs on healthcare practices and perceptions of sickness, health, and healing.
  • Examine the Christian perspective on illness, specifically viewing sickness as a test or punishment from God.
  • Analyze relevant biblical references that guide Christians on seeking medical treatment and the responsibility to care for the body as a temple.
  • Discuss the balance between faith, prayer, and medical interventions from a Christian standpoint.
Spiritual Assessment:
  • Understand the significance of conducting a spiritual needs assessment in the context of healthcare decisions.
  • Explore tools used for spiritual assessments, focusing on dimensions such as purpose, values, and self-identity.
  • Examine the role of healthcare professionals in addressing spiritual needs and directing patients to appropriate pastoral care.
  • Discuss the potential impact of a spiritual assessment on the alignment of medical decisions with religious beliefs.

The Student’s Role:

As a student, your role is to critically engage with the case study and address the outlined objectives. Provide in-depth analyses of the ethical considerations surrounding parental decisions, the Christian perspective on health and sickness, and the relevance of spiritual assessments in healthcare. Support your insights with references to ethical principles, biblical references, and scholarly literature.

Detailed Assessment Instructions for the PHI-413V Benchmark Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Assignment

Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis

Spirituality and religion are crucial factors in most people seeking medical care. Unfortunately, health care professionals might not consider religious beliefs and spiritual needs when they are dealing with complex medical decisions for their patients or their families. This paper analyzes a case involving parental postponement of a medically needed intervention based on religious beliefs in prayers and miracles…

In addition to the topic study materials, use the chart you completed and questions you answered in the Topic 3 about \”Case Study: Healing and Autonomy\” as the basis for your responses in this assignment.

Answer the following questions about a patient\’s spiritual needs in light of the Christian worldview.

In 200-250 words, respond to the following: Should the physician allow Mike to continue making decisions that seem to him to be irrational and harmful to James, or would that mean a disrespect of a patient\’s autonomy? Explain your rationale.
In 400-500 words, respond to the following: How ought the Christian think about sickness and health? How should a Christian think about medical intervention? What should Mike as a Christian do? How should he reason about trusting God and treating James in relation to what is truly honoring the principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence in James\’s care?
In 200-250 words, respond to the following: How would a spiritual needs assessment help the physician assist Mike determine appropriate interventions for James and for his family or others involved in his care?
Remember to support your responses with the topic study materials. Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis

While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies:

BS in Health Sciences 1.2; BS Nursing (RN to BSN ) 5.2 Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis

Assess for the spiritual needs and provide appropriate interventions for individuals, families, and groups.

Case Study: Healing and Autonomy

Mike and Joanne are the parents of James and Samuel, identical

twins born 8 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’s 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 Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis

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’s 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’s 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’s 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? Mike reasons, “This time around it is a matter of life and death. What could require greater faith than that?”

PHI-413V Benchmark Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Example


Spirituality and religion play pivotal roles in the healthcare decisions of individuals. However, healthcare professionals often overlook religious beliefs and spiritual needs when navigating complex medical scenarios. This paper delves into a case involving the deferment of a medically necessary intervention due to religious convictions about prayers and miracles.

Physician’s Role in Decision-Making

In the case of James, the physician should not have permitted Mike, the father, to persist in making decisions that seemed irrational and detrimental to James. While respecting parental autonomy is crucial, healthcare professionals bear a legal and ethical responsibility to intervene when a child’s well-being is jeopardized (Katz & Webb, 2016). In instances where a child faces the risk of disability or death due to parental decisions, professionals must report the situation to appropriate authorities and, if necessary, proceed with life-saving interventions.

Christian Perspective on Health and Sickness

From a Christian standpoint, perceptions of health and sickness are intertwined with faith. Some Christians may view good health as a reward for righteous living and illness as a consequence of sin or a test of faith. In the case of James, his father, Mike, grapples with feelings of inadequacy and questions whether the illness is a result of insufficient faith.

It is imperative for Christians to understand that seeking medical intervention aligns with biblical principles. In Matthew 9:12, Jesus emphasized the role of physicians, indicating that those who are sick need a physician. Medical care is not a lack of faith but a means through which God’s healing can manifest. Christians are encouraged to honor their bodies as temples of God and seek medical care responsibly (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Mike’s Dilemma and Christian Ethics

As a Christian, Mike should recognize that medical intervention is not a contradiction to trusting God. Allowing James to undergo necessary medical procedures does not negate the power of prayer but acknowledges that God may work through healthcare professionals. Honoring the principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence, Mike should consider the potential benefits of a kidney transplant for James. Beneficence entails promoting well-being, and in this case, a transplant can save James’s life without necessarily conflicting with spiritual beliefs.

Spiritual Needs Assessment

A spiritual needs assessment is instrumental in guiding the physician to assist Mike in determining suitable interventions for James and the family. Identifying spiritual and religious needs ensures that medical decisions are respectful and responsive to these beliefs. A comprehensive assessment involves supporting spiritual beliefs, organizing resources, and facilitating spiritual activities (Isaac et al., 2016).

Upon identifying the spiritual needs of James’s family, the physician can then decide whether to address these needs or involve spiritual and religious leaders in the care process. Referring individuals to appropriate pastoral care acknowledges the importance of spirituality in healthcare decision-making without placing the burden solely on medical professionals.


In conclusion, addressing a patient’s spiritual needs, especially within the context of religious beliefs, is essential for providing holistic and patient-centered care. While respecting autonomy is crucial, healthcare professionals must navigate complex situations, especially when a child’s well-being is at stake. Integrating spirituality into the care process through assessments and collaboration with spiritual leaders ensures a more comprehensive and respectful approach to healthcare decision-making.


Isaac, K., Hay, J., & Lubetkin, E. (2016). Incorporating Spirituality in Primary Care. Journal of Religion and Health, 55(3), 1065-1077.

Katz, A., & Webb, S. (2016). Informed Consent in Decision-Making in Pediatric Practice. Pediatrics, 138(2), e20161485.

Part Two:

In 200-250 words, respond to the following:

In the context of the Christian worldview, the principles in this case are specified and weighted based on the core tenets of Christian ethics. Christians, when grappling with healthcare dilemmas, consider four key principles, recognizing the need for nuanced evaluation in each unique medical situation. In the presented case, the principle of beneficence carries significant weight. Despite James’s stable condition, the imminent threat to his life within a year without an organ transplant elevates the importance of saving his life. The Christian teaching underscores the sacredness of human life, imposing an obligation on Christians to preserve life. Both the parents and the healthcare practitioners share the responsibility of ensuring James’s survival, aligning with the principle of beneficence. Beyond mere survival, there exists a duty to enhance James’s life, a task guided by the same principle.

In 200-250 words, respond to the following:

Within the Christian worldview, achieving a balance among the four principles—Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy, and Justice—is a matter of discerning priorities aligned with Christian values. The sanctity of life, considered sacred in Christianity, forms the basis for balancing these principles. Christians navigate this delicate equilibrium by prioritizing the principle most aligned with preserving life. For instance, while autonomy allows freedom of choice, the paramount importance of beneficence may supersede in critical situations. In the case, parents exercised autonomy by seeking faith healing, potentially neglecting the beneficence owed to their son. The healthcare professional, guided by Christian ethics, might intervene, placing James on dialysis to avert harm.

Additionally, the Christian perspective emphasizes the role of justice and nonmaleficence. Clear communication with the parents, explaining that delaying treatment could exacerbate James’s condition and lead to dire consequences, incorporates these principles into the decision-making process. Ultimately, a Christian balance among the principles ensures a comprehensive approach, respecting autonomy but prioritizing beneficence, justice, and nonmaleficence in alignment with Christian teachings.


Fried, A. L., & Fisher, C. B. (2018). Emerging ethical and legal issues in clinical child and adolescent psychology. In The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Hoehner, P. J. (2018). Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision-making in health care. Biomedical ethics in the Christian narrative. Retrieved from

PHI-413V Benchmark Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Example Two

Spiritual Needs Assessment

As healthcare professionals, engaging in conversations with patients about their spirituality becomes imperative. The beliefs, values, and morals of individuals shape their identity, influencing the approach of healthcare workers in providing care. Respecting patients’ beliefs, faith, and cultural backgrounds establishes trust and rapport, essential components of patient care. To deliver optimal care, healthcare professionals must understand the intricate connection between a patient’s belief system and the care plan. Confidence and openness to discussing various aspects of spirituality are crucial for effective patient care.

The author conducted an interview with a family member, D.K., who underwent treatment for an extended period, eventually diagnosed with Celiac Disease. This paper aims to create a spiritual assessment based on the interview, presenting a transcript and analyzing the interaction. Evaluation of the interview’s successes, areas for improvement, and identification of potential barriers between the interviewer and interviewee will be addressed. The focus of the interview is on D.K.’s experiences as a patient in a hospital setting.

Part I: The Interview

Inquiring about D.K.’s religious and spiritual beliefs, the interview revealed her 30-year commitment to Christianity and her reliance on faith during the hospitalization. The discussion highlighted the role of prayer and communion in supporting her spiritual well-being. When questioned about the influence of her beliefs on self-care decisions, D.K. expressed a heightened prayer focus and shared the significance of others praying for her. Additionally, privacy and respect for personal spiritual time emerged as crucial needs that healthcare professionals could address.

Part II: Analysis

The interviewee, an older Caucasian female and a devout Christian, faced a challenging diagnosis of Celiac Disease, impacting her culinary profession centered around gluten. The interview underscored the importance of spiritual care during hospitalization, emphasizing the need for healthcare professionals to respect and encourage moments of prayer and reflection. The author identified the potential value of conducting the interview while D.K. was still an inpatient.

No significant barriers were identified during the spiritual assessment, and the author stressed the importance of maintaining a commitment to spiritual care even amid busy schedules. Acknowledging the interconnectedness of spiritual and physical healing, the author emphasized the equal significance of addressing patients’ spiritual needs without delay.


D.K. Personal Communication. November 2016.

Joint Commission. 2016. Medical Record – Spiritual Assessment. Retrieved from Joint Commission Spiritual Assessment. Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis.

PHI-413V Benchmark Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Example Three

The principle of autonomy upholds a patient’s right to make informed medical decisions. However, in the context of this case within a Confucian society, where familial authority plays a significant role, the head of the family, Mike, is expected to make decisions for those under his care (Tai & Tsai, 2003). Despite the physician’s obligation to present all possible measures, the decision ultimately rests with James’s parents, even if it appears irrational from a medical standpoint. Mike, as a Christian family head, is entrusted with ensuring the well-being, both physical and spiritual, of his children. Thus, respecting patient autonomy is vital, trusting that Mike will act in his son’s best interest. James’s parents, albeit belatedly, opted for dialysis, a crucial step in stabilizing the child, allowing time for thoughtful consideration and consultation to determine the best course that benefits James without jeopardizing Samuel.

The physician may intervene in decision-making only if Mike is deemed incompetent or uncertain about the child’s best interests. In such cases, the physician should thoroughly explain all options and the chosen course of action, detailing the potential implications associated with the selected treatment method (Tai & Tsai, 2003).

Christians Views on Sickness and Health

Christianity acknowledges suffering, including sickness, pain, and disability, as integral to religious life (Porterfield, 2005). Viewing suffering as a path to redemption, Christians believe that healing is facilitated through unwavering faith in a higher power. Perspectives on sickness and healing vary among Christians, with some perceiving it as a consequence of sins, while others see it as a test of faith (Porterfield, 2005). In this case, Mike interpreted James’s illness as divine punishment, reflecting the diverse Christian perspectives. Seeking religious meaning and redemption during suffering is common among Christians, often manifesting through caregiving mirroring Jesus’ healing ministry.

Medical interventions, essential for Christians, do not signify a loss of faith; instead, they complement spirituality. Combining medicine with spirituality fosters positive expectations, alleviates stress, and enhances natural recovery processes, akin to the placebo effect (Porterfield, 2005). Various forms of medical interventions, including nutrition, exercise, and mental well-being, intertwine with Christian practices, promoting a holistic approach to health.

Mike, driven by the principles of nonmaleficence and benevolence, should act in James’s best interest. While prayer was attempted, the subsequent dialysis stabilized James, underscoring the importance of medical interventions. Embracing medical assistance aligns with Christian beliefs, acknowledging that God works through individuals, including healthcare professionals. To uphold his faith, Mike can prayerfully support the organ transplant, trusting in divine guidance.

Spiritual Assessment

Spiritual assessment in healthcare aids practitioners in addressing patients’ spiritual and emotional needs during challenging times. Utilizing Draper’s (2012) generic approach to spiritual assessment would be beneficial for Mike. This approach helps recognize and acknowledge spiritually based issues, identifying coping resources and facilitating informed decision-making. Questions should explore Mike’s spiritual beliefs, meaningful aspects of James’s life, and how these beliefs influence healthcare decisions.

Furthermore, the assessment tool can probe into Mike’s spiritual community, assessing its potential to provide emotional and spiritual support. Understanding these aspects enables the physician to tailor interventions that enhance spiritual well-being. Spiritual engagement contributes to improved quality of life, reduced stress symptoms, increased mindfulness, and enhanced coping mechanisms.


Christianity profoundly shapes perceptions of sickness, health, and seeking help from healthcare professionals. Both Christians and physicians play vital roles in maintaining patient autonomy, ensuring informed decision-making while respecting religious beliefs. Integrating medicine with spirituality provides a comprehensive approach to healthcare, acknowledging the interconnectedness of physical and spiritual well-being. The case emphasizes the importance of Christians accepting medical assistance when necessary, promoting a harmonious balance between faith and professional healthcare.


Craigie, F. C. (2010). Positive spirituality in health care: Nine practical approaches to pursuing wholeness for clinicians, patients, and health care organizations. Hillcrest Publishing Group.

Draper, P. (2012). An integrative review of spiritual assessment: implications for nursing management. Journal of Nursing Management, 20(8), 970-980.

Porterfield, A. (2005). Healing in the History of Christianity. Oxford University Press.

Tai, M. C. T., & Tsai, T. P. (2003). Who makes the decision? Patient’s autonomy vs. paternalism in a Confucian society. Croatian medical journal, 44(5), 558-561.

Zollfrank, A. A., Trevino, K. M., Cadge, W., Balboni, M. J., Thiel, M. M., Fitchett, G.… & Balboni, T. A. (2015). Teaching health care providers to provide spiritual care: a pilot study. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 18(5), 408-414.

PHI-413V Benchmark Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Example Four


Healthcare professionals strive to adhere to ethical principles, encompassing a patient’s beneficence, autonomy, nonmaleficence, and justice. However, the intricate nature of human body systems and diverse values often complicates strict adherence to these principles (Johnstone, 2019). Spiritual and religious beliefs, in particular, can significantly influence patients’ willingness to follow healthcare recommendations, potentially leading to adverse health outcomes. This case study highlights the imperative of addressing patients’ spiritual needs to ensure compliance with beneficence and nonmaleficence principles.

Patient Autonomy

The presented case underscores challenges related to patient autonomy. Decisions made by the parents, Mike and Joanne, create a dilemma for the physician in upholding beneficence and nonmaleficence principles. The parents’ choices result in a severe deterioration of their son’s health, prompting consideration of the child’s best interest over parental preferences. While tempting to override parental autonomy for the child’s benefit, disrespecting autonomy can lead to unintended consequences, including distrust in healthcare professionals and potential endangerment of the child (Ubel, Scherr, & Fagerlin, 2017).

Rather than infringing on parental autonomy, the physician should establish effective communication and rapport with the parents. Informing them about all options and consequences, the healthcare practitioner must act in the child’s best interest, emphasizing the principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence as priorities (Lawrence, 2007). While being compassionate, the physician should be clear and sincere in presenting the preferred treatment, fostering collaboration with the parents.

Christian Perspective Regarding Sickness and Health

The Christian view on health and illness is nuanced, encompassing perspectives of punishment or trial. In this case, Mike perceives his son’s illness as a trial imposed by God, necessitating an active response. Viewing medical advances as gifts from God, Christians are encouraged to accept these instruments rather than reject divine wisdom (Johnstone, 2019). To align with beneficence and nonmaleficence principles, Mike should seek medical assistance, integrating faith with medical interventions. Trusting God and utilizing medical tools ensures the child’s well-being, demonstrating responsibility in cherishing God’s gifts.

Spiritual Assessment Benefits

Recognizing diverse patient needs, contemporary healthcare professionals advocate for spiritual assessments to facilitate holistic care. Various assessment instruments, including open-ended interviews, prove effective in identifying patients’ values and beliefs (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). In this case, a spiritual assessment would provide insight into Mike’s values, enabling the physician to craft arguments supportive of recommended treatments. The assessment could involve consultation with other professionals and the hospital’s chaplain to guide the family effectively. By addressing spiritual needs, the physician could enhance relationships, fostering greater patient compliance and cooperation.


Mike faces challenging decisions that can impact his son’s life profoundly. Rooted in Christian faith, Mike can find strength by perceiving the trial as a call to action and appreciating divine wisdom. The physician, through a spiritual assessment, could tailor communication to align with Mike’s values, promoting collaboration. In navigating this delicate situation, Mike’s faith, integrated with medical interventions, can guide decisions that prioritize the child’s well-being.


Hubbard, R., & Greenblum, J. (2019). Parental decision making: The best interest principle, child autonomy, and reasonableness. HEC Forum, 31(3), 233-240.

Johnstone, M. J. (2019). Bioethics: A nursing perspective (7th ed.). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Lawrence, D. J. (2007). The four principles of biomedical ethics: A foundation for current bioethical debate. Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, 14, 34-40.

Timmins, F., & Caldeira, S. (2017). Assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Nursing Standard, 31(29), 47-53.

Ubel, P. A., Scherr, K. A., & Fagerlin, A. (2017). Empowerment failure: How shortcomings in physician communication unwittingly undermine patient autonomy. The American Journal of Bioethics, 17(11), 31-39.

PHI-413V Benchmark Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Example Five


Considering religion and spirituality is crucial in healthcare, acknowledging individual variations in religious, spiritual, and philosophical inclinations. Healthcare professionals, despite personal beliefs, must prioritize ethical decision-making for prompt medical attention (Lawrence, 2007). This case, exemplified by James, emphasizes the central role of healing in nursing, treating human life as invaluable and created in God’s image. The case delves into how a parent’s choices impact family dynamics in the context of a child’s health.

Question 1

Adhering to the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence, which prioritize patient well-being, the doctor asserts that Mike’s judgments, deemed detrimental to James, must be addressed. Balancing therapy advantages with costs and risks aligns with beneficence, while non-maleficence prioritizes the patient’s welfare (Bavinck & Sutanto, 2019). Despite respecting patient autonomy, the physician may need to proceed with necessary treatments to avert harm, ensuring the patient’s access to medical care (Kabbur, 2013).

Sickness and Health

The Christian perspective views illness as an inevitable part of life, fostering fortitude, character, and hope through trials (Romans 5:3-4). Despite environmental sources of sickness, faith remains pivotal for healing, emphasizing trust in God’s promises (Hebrews 11:6). While illness is not desired, God’s presence brings comfort and hope to the afflicted (Mariottini, 2018).

Medical Intervention

Christians perceive medical assistance as a divine gift, emphasizing faith in the synergy of medical intervention and religious belief. Seeking timely medical attention is endorsed, acknowledging God’s provision of knowledge to physicians (Sirach, Chapter 38). Faith in medical intervention aligns with the belief in God’s healing gifts.

Recommendation Action for Mike

Mike’s decisions, influenced by a misunderstanding of Biblical narratives, may conflict with universal principles of good and evil. Advocating for a kidney transplant aligns with Christian values, considering it an act of love akin to Jesus’ example. Despite the difficulty, choosing a transplant for James, supported by Samuel, aligns with preserving life, emphasizing the potential for a healthy and normal life with one kidney.

Spiritual Needs Assessment

James’ physical pain and Mike’s spiritual distress necessitate a spiritual assessment. Recognizing the interplay of religious beliefs and health, a spiritual examination aids in understanding perspectives, fostering tailored solutions. The HOPE questions and Joint Commission’s Spiritual Assessment provide valuable insights, enhancing patient-doctor relationships and promoting better outcomes.


Religious beliefs significantly influence medical decisions, necessitating healthcare professionals’ training in spiritual needs assessment. Understanding and respecting patients’ religious views ensure compassionate and high-quality treatment. A proper spiritual examination fosters comprehension between healthcare providers and patients, contributing to improved outcomes.


Anandarajah, G. (2005). Doing a Culturally Sensitive Spiritual Assessment: Recognizing Spiritual Themes and Using the HOPE Questions. Virtual Mentor,7(5). doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.2005.7.5.cprl1-0505

Bavinck, H., & Sutanto, N. G. (2019). Christian worldview. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway.

Biblica Inc. (2011). Romans 5:3-4 New International Version. Retrieved from Bible Gateway

Kabbur, G. (2013). American Medical Association Journal of Ethics.

Lawrence DJ. (2007). The four principles of biomedical ethics: a foundation for current bioethical debate. Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, (14), 34–40. Retrieved from EBSCOhost

Mariottini, C. (2018, July 13). A Christian Perspective on Illness. Retrieved from Claude Mariottini

Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2006). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing (2nd ed.).

PHI-413V Benchmark Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Example Six

In today’s era, remarkable strides have been achieved in medical science. Despite these progressions, a considerable number still lean towards relying on spirituality and religion instead of conventional medical approaches. Conversely, medical professionals often overlook the spiritual requirements of patients, neglecting to guide them through intricate medical decisions. This paper seeks to scrutinize a case involving a paternal postponement of medical intervention rooted in a belief in miracles and prayers.

Decision-Making and Autonomy

An imperative facet of medical ethics is patient autonomy and the prerogative of decision-making. When dealing with minors, the principles of autonomy and decision-making frequently present a quandary. In the specified case, Mike’s decision, grounded in religious belief, was detrimental to James’s health, warranting intervention by the physician. While parental decisions hold significance in childcare, physicians working with minors are duty-bound to discuss all options, balancing “respecting children’s rights and liberties while protecting them from harm” (Strom-Gottfried, 2008). The ethical and legal responsibility of the physician was to intervene in the decision, preventing potential harm to James (Katz et al., 2016). The delayed intervention resulted in increased deterioration, necessitating permanent dialysis and a kidney transplant.

Medical health practitioners bear the responsibility of safeguarding minors at risk of medical neglect (Katz et al., 2016). Upon identifying potential harm due to parental decisions, the physician is legally and professionally obligated to report parents to relevant authorities. Continuing life-saving intervention, even against parental objections, aligns with the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence.

Christian View Regarding Health and Sickness

Long-standing religious beliefs have significantly influenced individual healthcare practices and perspectives on sickness, health, and healing. The notion that good health is a reward for virtuous deeds while sickness may be a form of divine punishment or a test of faith has persisted. In James’s case, Mike initially viewed the illness as a test from God, resorting to prayer for recovery. However, as uncertainties arose, questioning his faith, Mike pondered if this was divine punishment. Such reflections are common among the religious, attributing illness to a lack of devotion. This perspective on health and sickness can adversely influence healthcare choices, as evident in Mike’s inclination towards prayer over medical interventions.

Christianity, while acknowledging the importance of faith, encourages followers to seek medical treatment in times of illness. The scripture in Matthew 9:12 emphasizes the need for medical attention when one is unwell. This underlines the freedom of Christians to seek professional medical consultation, recognizing medical science as a divine gift for their well-being. Viewing the human body as a temple, Christians are obliged “to honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Hence, caring for the body through medical means aligns with Christian values.

As a Christian, Mike needs to ensure that his decisions uphold the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence. Trusting healthcare professionals as agents of God for treatment aligns with preserving life, combining prayer and medical intervention for the best outcome.

Spiritual Assessment

Conducting a spiritual needs assessment is instrumental in identifying the spiritual needs of patients and their families. It aids physicians in providing support aligned with religious beliefs, offering insights into conflicting beliefs affecting medical decisions (Isaac et al., 2016).

The spiritual assessment aims to address religious beliefs through tools exploring dimensions such as purpose, values, transcendental experiences, and self-identity (Monod et al., 2010). Physicians, while not providing spiritual guidance, can direct patients to appropriate pastoral care. Chaplains are better suited to inform patients about the risks of forgoing treatment and may effectively persuade patients on the importance of medical intervention.


Isaac, K., Hay, J., & Lubetkin, E. (2016). Incorporating Spirituality in Primary Care. Journal of Religion and Health, 55(3), 1065–1077.

Katz, A. L., Webb, S. A., & COMMITTEE ON BIOETHICS. (2016). Informed Consent in Decision-Making in Pediatric Practice. Pediatrics, 138(2), e20161485.

Monod, S. M., Rochat, E., Büla, C. J., Jobin, G., Martin, E., & Spencer, B. (2010). The spiritual distress assessment tool: An instrument to assess spiritual distress in hospitalized elderly persons. BMC Geriatrics, 10(1), 88.

New International Version. (2011). Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 9 – New International Version. Bible Gateway.


Strom-Gottfried, K. (2008). The Ethics of Practice with Minors: High Stakes, Hard Choices. Lyceum Books.

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