The interaction between spirituality and religion is critical for most people seeking medical care. However, medical practitioners might not consider patients’ religious views and beliefs in some cases because they are not backed by science. This paper analyses the case of Mike and Joanne and their sick son James. The issue at hand is parental involvement in the treatment of their son. Mike’s influence is causing a threat to James’ life by postponing urgent treatment because of his religious belief in miraculous healing.
To Allow or Not Allow Mike to Continue Making Irrational Decisions
Once James arrives at the hospital, he becomes the physician’s responsibility. Therefore, allowing Mike to make decisions that appear illogical is detrimental to James’ health. Mike’s views are not scientifically practical and thus cannot help James recover because they are not subject to any scientific findings. Prayers are essential in strengthening a patient’s resolve to get cured. However, no scientific evidence affirms that prayers alone heal (Borysowski, 2021). While the physician should respect Mike’s views and religious beliefs, he also has the legal and ethical responsibility to ensure that James is treated correctly, following conventional medical practices backed by scientific evidence. By postponing James’ dialysis treatment, Mike almost risked the patient. He should not be allowed to make the same mistake a second time.
As a health professional, the physician is responsible for protecting susceptible children from medical neglect by providing adequate guidance on the possible solutions to adopt. A physician is obliged by law, professional and ethical standards to report parents who do not follow the correct medical treatment procedure to authorities to avoid instances of child neglect. By postponing the kidney transplant, Mike might risk the life of his son James. Therefore under this scenario, the physician is required by law to perform life-saving interventions over the objections of the parents of a child.
How A Christian Should Think About Health and Sickness and Medical Intervention
Mike, as a Christian, should trust in the ability of God to heal James following the medical treatments that he has received. He should understand that God has provided avenues for people to address their challenges. As a Christian, Mike needs to trust in the healing power of God and understand that sickness is not always a punishment for sin (Bussing, 2021). Christians should view themselves as God’s children and take the status of a child to understand how people get sick. Children sometimes play with dirt without knowing its consequences which include sickness.
When a child falls sick, it is the parent’s responsibility to find treatment for them. Therefore, as God’s children, they ought to understand that sickness is unplanned. When it happens, they should trust in the healing power of God through the available scientific medical interventions. Science should be viewed as the creation of God because He is the source of all knowledge (Isaiah 48: 17). Therefore, he has passed his knowledge to humankind to help them solve some of their challenges, including sickness. Therefore, Christians should have more faith in medicine because God promised He would care for them (Isaiah 46:4-13). However, God does not work independently but relies on the services of humankind to assist their fellow human beings. While it is essential to pray for the sick, prayers should be made alongside medical treatment. God will heal the sick, but only if they also make an effort to address the situation.
Science is the creation of God, and Christians should have faith in it because it is meant to help people live better life (Borysowski, 2021; Isaiah 40:12-18). Whereas some people could have been healed miraculously, the healing may appear so because, in most cases, miracles are phenomena that are still beyond the comprehension of the human mind, given the available technology at the time of its occurrence. However, science helps explain such miracles. For instance, it could be a miracle to see an object such as an airplane ascend in the sky. Therefore, even those who get healed miraculously could have ingested some substances not yet discovered as medicine. Therefore, reliance on miraculous healing alone can be detrimental because they do not have certainty – they occur depending on God’s mercies, and they are not common.
Importance of Spiritual Needs Assessment to The Physician
A spiritual needs assessment is critical to the success of patient treatments because it helps guide patients and their relatives on the best ways to approach a given situation. While suffering may not be avoided, it can be endured and eased if a physician conducts a proper needs assessment to influence the treatment options a patient receives. The role of spiritual assessment is to help the physician provide needed support for the patient (Farahaninia et al., 2018). Therefore, it plays a critical role in assisting patients to recover by utilizing spiritual resources to enhance their overall well-being.
In the case of James, a spiritual needs assessment will allow the physician to assist Mike and his family in applying suitable interventions in the treatment of James. By identifying the spiritual needs embraced by Mike’s family, the physician can recommend acceptable interventions to the family (Fuchs et al., 2021). A proper needs assessment will also provide the right context to discuss the experiences of Joanne and Mike in coping with the challenge. The two parents can thus discuss their beliefs with ease concerning their son’s condition without fear of being judged. However, suppose the physician is incapable of satisfying the spiritual needs of Mike’s family. In that case, they should be referred to a religious figure to guide them because it is understandable that the role of physicians does not center on giving spiritual guidance.
Farahaninia, M., Abasi, M., Seyedfatemi, N., JafarJalal, E., & Haghani, H. (2018). Nurses’ attitudes towards spiritual care and spiritual care practices. Journal of Client-Centered Nursing Care, 4(2), 61-68. Web.
Fuchs, J. R., Fuchs, J. W., Hauser, J. M., & Coors, M. E. (2021). The patient desire for spiritual assessment is unmet in urban and rural primary care settings. BMC Health Services Research, 21(1), 1-9. Web.
Borysowski, J., Ehni, H. J., & Górski, A. (2021). Ethics codes and medical decision-making. Patient Education and Counseling, 104(6), 1312-1316. Web.
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Büssing, A. (Ed.). (2021). Spiritual needs in research and practice: the spiritual needs questionnaire as a global resource for health and social care. Springer Nature.