Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative
In many instances, believers are always faced with a range of dilemmas as they go through their daily life activities. These encompass spiritual, religious and moral dilemmas that torment their minds forcing them to make tough decisions that may even conflict their wills. For Christians, these moments are always overridden by faith in God as guided by the holy bible prescribing needs on worrying less but have belief in the Almighty during the hard times.
While holding these beliefs into place, it becomes cumbersome to apply spirituality to other aspects of life, for instance, the physical aspect. Such a case then calls for being smart to ensure an appropriate balance between the spiritual and the physical aspect of life. For the provided scenario, Mike and Joanne are in a situation where various values must come into play for a successful outcome. The duo takes the path of spirituality to find a remedy to James kidney problem disregarding the medical intervention but later gets back to it. This document focuses on the analysis of these moves concerning maintenance of ethics while putting light on the Christian narratives.
It is with high expectations that every Christian have strong faith in God, and that is what should guide them in their dealings. It is this faith that brings about the most pressing issues in this study that need to be analyzed critically. To begin with, the position of sole dependence on the Christian principle of belief in God is critical. As it presents in this case, Mike and Joanne make up their mind to turn down medical assistance and settle on belief in God as their source of hope and healing. The second issue revolves around the struggle that emanates between making decisions and Faith evident when Mike decides to believe in the sermon and allow healing and miracle to take place. When this does not work out for them, they return for medication that they disregarded. Finally, there exists a moral dilemma that dawns to Mike at the end where there is even a huge decision to make. The dilemma arises after the proposal for a kidney transplant by the nephrologist and the donation to originate from his twin brother. These events create a further dilemma as perceived by Mike when he now feels that this is now a bigger challenge that requires an even much greater miracle and divine intervention while at the same time keen to avoid the previous mistake of disregarding medical interventions. In a nutshell, the three issues are weighty and are the focus of this analysis of biomedical ethics.
The physician has a pivotal role to play to show professionalism in this case hence no room for sitting back and watching. Such a position will ensure that Mike is not given any more chance to make decisions that can lead to loss of James life. By acting this way, the physician will be full filling his or her obligation of protecting life by stepping into circumstances that need rescue. In line with these actions, the doctor will be using the deontology form of reasoning to guide him or her ass he or she acts towards achieving the moral obligation through the professional practice (Goetghebeur et al., 2015). In so doing, the physician will meet the standards of being considered moral. In the same manner, the physician will act in the interest of meeting the obligation and even going against the ideologies that held by Mike since they are costly to them.
In addition to that, the physician must bypass the autonomy held by mike as he or she will have to avoid the sit and watch scenario as this will be more of negligence rather than respect to the rights of the patient. The negligence originates from the fact that the physician as a counselor has an opportunity of making Mike understand that the situation can get out of hands and indeed they need to ensure that James gets a kidney transplant (Herlihy et al., 2014). Besides that, the physician must also present to the parents on the weight laid by organ transplant concerning the risks and all these derived towards pushing them to make rational decisions.
Through the analysis of this case study, explanation towards the three issues—patient autonomy, treatment refusal and organ transplantation must show vividly whether the moves are either wrong or right. The basis of treatment refusal, in this case, is in the fact that God will heal James and get him well and the only thing the family need is faith in God. Religiously, Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated the possibility of healing with a strong belief in God. As such, this does not deter the Christian community from getting medical treatment in line with the natural law of ethics. The law supports the fact that nature always has its cause and that such cause should be left to run freely. Ideally, there is a need for multiple actions where medical interventions are taken, and spiritual aspect also is taken care of since this will lead to the best outcome desired. Unlike the natural law of ethics, the divine command theory value medical treatment due to the benefits to the body (Shafer-Landau, 2014). Based on this theory, Mike’s decision to refuse treatment because of his faith is a wrong move that deters quality of life of the patient.
Patient autonomy is evident where Mike makes up his mind not to consider James dialysis with the hope that he receives healing. Mike has the right to make decisions as a parent because James is a child and can’t give consent to his care at the age of 8 years. The transferred autonomy to the parent goes against the non-maleficence principle. For this case, it also doesn’t take into account the theory of utilitarianism where benefits such as remedy to the situation outdo the drawbacks (Goetghebeur et al., 2015). All these indicate the wrong decision taken by Mike in trying to assist his child.
Organ transplant, on the other hand, pushes Mike into another dilemma when he gets to know that the best match in the organ transplantation will be a kidney from Samuel—James’ brother. When walloped with this reality, he opts for even more faith considering that this situation is tougher than the earlier ones. At the same time, he is keen not to take chances that would impact his son’s life negatively like the previous situation. For a better settlement to the case, there is consideration of both the utilitarianism and deontological theories that puts life preservation on the forefront (Goetghebeur et al., 2015). With this in mind, organ transplantation would be more beneficial that Mike has to give a choice. It also forms the basis unto which the analysis of this case study should dwell on.
Regarding faith in God and issues of healing and sickness, various believer holds different views. Strengthening these views are different theories and Christian principles held onto by individuals. Among the theories that Christians are likely to use are the natural law theory and the divine command theory. Understanding these two theories are of essence to get to the root of mikes decision.
The divine command theory appreciates the medical interventions since it considers everything being gifts from above. Everything that gets the life better and preserves it is deemed to be in line with the will of God who needs human beings to protect life (Shafer-Landau, 2014). The theory gives into the interventions by the medical team in alleviating suffering and promoting health. At the same time, it also values divine response and requires incorporation of both faith and medical interventions when dealing with illnesses.
On the other hand, the natural law of ethics alludes that nature has a distinct way unto which things happen hence an incidence usually have a natural remedy and needs no human hand but faith in God (Shafer-Landau,2014). For this matter, the theory opposes the moves to influence nature such as medical intervention, use of family planning to regulate population since people should fill the earth and organ donation and transplantation among other moves. This theory requires a strong belief in God letting happenings in the environment to occur and find the natural remedy.
Indeed, Mike tagged himself to the natural law of ethics by considering that his son would get healed by only believing firmly in God. Despite this move, the impact of such moves leads to terrible events such as kidney damage requiring replacement which is more severe compared to the initial need of dialysis which would have saved the situation.
Being a Christian, Mike would have changed the outcome had he considered the fact that everything originates from God including the potential the physicians have in place. He would then have considered accepting the medical interventions while praying to God for healing. Moreover, he would have been guided by utilitarianism theory by weighing the benefits of treatment and the risks involved (Goetghebeur et al., 2015). Had Mike directed his energy towards the two recommended moves, James would have found a remedy for the acute kidney injury that would not have progressed to renal failure requiring a kidney transplant.
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