Christian think about sickness and health

 Christian think about sickness and health

Christian think about sickness and health

Patients autonomy allows patients to make own decisions without outside influence. With patient autonomy, the physician or nurse can educate but cannot make decisions for the patient. There are some cases when spiritual beliefs mislead patients to make decisions that are not beneficial (Butts & Rich, 2019). Health providers often face challenging situations when the patient’s spiritual beliefs contradict available medical interventions. To avoid such instances, the care provider should assess the patient’s spiritual needs so as to advise the patient appropriately. This paper uses the presented case study to answer particular questions regarding the patient’s autonomy and spiritual needs in light of the .

Physician’s Options Regarding Mike

In the case study, Mike is making decisions that may further cause serious harm to James. Mike is deep into spirituality and believes that God could health James without medical interventions. He has already failed in the first place when James condition got worse. He again wants to do it for the second time and this may put James life in even more risk than before. In that regard, the physician should not allow Mike to continue making decisions that do not help improve James health status. Patient autonomy is a very important aspect of care that should be considered (Butts & Rich, 2019). However, it might be disregarded when the decision made by the patient or the guardian may cause harm. In this case, the patient himself is still a child and may not make sound decisions, therefore, his parents are in a position to make decisions on his behalf (Butts & Rich, 2019). These decisions made by the father have no benefit at all. Stopping mike from making further decisions may conflict with the principle of patient autonomy, however, it would help save the life of the patient. Therefore, it is more ethical and beneficial to disregard the patient’s autonomy, in this particular case, to save the life of the patient.

Christianity’s Perspectives

Christianity has several denominations that teach differently concerning sickness and health. How a Christian will perceive sickness and good health depends on the beliefs that the denominations hold and their teachings. Some Christians believe that sickness is a punishment of sin by God. They think that one only becomes sick after sinning and now God is angry with them (O’brien, 2017). Others believe that God tests the faith of His people and that sickness is one of the ways that God uses to test their faith. For instance, Mike believes that God is testing his faith and he should be strong and trust more in God. As a result, he opted for spiritual healing instead of medical interventions. It is appropriate for Christians to view sickness as disruption of bodily functions that needs the interventions of a medical professional.

A Christian should think positively about medical intervention, as a remedy for sickness. Christians should perceive medical interventions as the act of interceding with the intent of improving the patient’s condition. Additionally, they should think of medication and medical interventions as supplements to spiritual healing that have no harm to Christian beliefs (O’brien, 2017). Mike as a Christian should allow the physician to perform a kidney transplant on James as per the treatment plan. However, he should maintain his spiritual belief as a Christian. He can combine medical treatment with spiritual healing to help James recover. For instance, mike can allow medical organ transplant while praying to God to make the process successful so than James can recover and continue with his normal life.

With regard to the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence, Mike can reason up on the best decision to make. The principle of beneficence requires that the action decided upon brings benefits to the parents (Ellis, 2020). It assumes that decisions made within the hospital environment regarding a patient bring a positive impact to the patient. With this idea in mind, Mike can make decisions that only impact the life of James positively. On the other hand, the principle of non-maleficence requires that all decisions made do not cause harm to the patient. In this case, mike can make a decision that is both beneficial and causes no harm to James (Ellis, 2020). If his faith does not bring benefits and only leads to harm, then he should think otherwise. In this case, he should opt for a kidney transplant because that is what will help improve James health status.

Spiritual assessment is an important aspect of care, especially when such beliefs might influence the type of care provided. According to O’brien (2017). Spiritual assessment is not only meant to determine one’s religion but also to identify spiritual and religious beliefs related to coping with illness. Spiritual needs assessment would enable the physician to help mike make good decisions to help James, after identifying spiritual needs, the physician can incorporate the results of the assessment to the decision making process. The physician will identify spiritual beliefs that negatively impact healthcare and find a way of informing mike about these beliefs.

Spiritual beliefs can also act as the basis for convincing mike to make better decisions. For instance, if he believes in going good to others, s, the physician might tell him about the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence (Ellis, 2020). This might make him believe that medical interventions achieve the same goal as those in spirituality. At least these similarities might make him change his mind.  Spiritual assessment will also make the physician understand the approach to use in order to convince him. Spiritual expressions such as love, compassion, and hope constitute the most basic universal approach in nursing care (O’brien, 2017). Therefore, spiritual assessment is important because it enables the physicians to figure out the dimensions of their client’s lives.


Patient’s autonomy allows patients to make their own decisions without outside influence. In the case study, Mike is making decisions that may further cause serious harm to James. Mike should be stopped from making such decisions so as to improve James health status. How a Christian will perceive sickness and good health depends on the beliefs that the denominations hold and their teachings. It is appropriate for Christians to view sickness as disruption of bodily functions that needs the interventions of a medical professional. Spiritual assessment is an important aspect of care, especially when such beliefs might influence the type of care provided.




Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2019). Nursing ethics. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Ellis, P. (2020). Understanding ethics for nursing students. London: Learning Matters.

O’brien, M. E. (2017). Spirituality in nursing. Burlington, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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