Benchmark – Patient\’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis

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

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?

Spiritual care is an essential part of the healing process for every human being physically, mentally, and emotionally. During my patient rounds, I might encounter patients with different worldviews or religions. It is somehow of a challenge for me when I have a patient with a different worldview than mine due to my lack of knowledge about other religions. However, the best way to approach those situations is to acknowledge other people’s beliefs, be active listener, provide support and facilitate communication with pastoral care. As a healthcare professional, it is important to learn about different religions to understand their beliefs and traditions, but it is most important to empathize and provide care with love and respect for every human being because humans are creatures of God (Hoehner, 2020).

Benchmark -Patient Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis

Religious beliefs and spirituality are essential aspects of attaining cultural competence care delivery for healthcare providers, especially nurses and physicians. Health care professionals should consider religious beliefs and spiritual needs of their patients when dealing with complicated medical conditions and decisions for their patients and families (Astrow et al., 2018). The purpose of this paper is to analyze a case involving a delicate medical condition of a minor where parents continue to delay the required medical intervention because of religious and spiritual reasons or basis that the child will get miracle healing through prayers.

Allowing Mike to Continue Making Decisions

James condition is acute and he requires immediate treatment. James condition entails increased buildup of fluids in his kidney and need to alleviate blood pressure that require temporary dialysis. Consequently, having the diagnosis and expert knowledge about the effects of the condition, the physician should not allow Mike to make decisions that do not offer benefits to the child. The decisions by Mike seem irrational and could eventually harm James’ health. While the biomedical ethical principles implore the physician to allow patients

Benchmark  Patient Spiritual Needs Case Analysis

Benchmark  Patient Spiritual Needs Case Analysis

and their families to exercise autonomy in decision-making and actions, the physician has both legal and ethical responsibility to intervene in the case of a minor. James is a minor and the decisions by his parents seem to jeopardize his health. Mike and Joanne postpones the needed medical interventions on religious grounds believing that their son could be healed through miracle prayers in church. The postponement had negative effects on James as his condition worsens.

The physician should provide information about the effects of kidney failure and the need to act fast to save James’s life and ensure that he gets well. Providing adequate information would assist the parents to understand the long-term repercussions of their decisions and the need to have fast interventions. The physician has a responsibility to protect susceptible children from medical neglect and at the whims of their parents. The law and medical ethics mandate health care providers to report parents who endanger the lives of their children through ineffective decisions and actions that can harm them in the long-term. Therefore, the physician should not allow Mike to make more decisions with negative effects on the child.

Christian Perspective on Sickness and Health

There is significant variance on how Christians and medical experts view sickness and health. firstly, the Christian religion comprises of several denominations that have varied views, with some like Jehovah witnesses refusing medical interventions like transplants and blood transfusion, while others believing in miracle healing. However, Christians ought to think about sickness as an opportunity to get interventions that will help them live better (Astrow et al, 2018). Christians should not view sickness as a reprisal or punishment from based on biblical creation account and fall of man. They should consider sickness and health as normal conditions that one can have and seek medical interventions where necessary (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). Sickness should not be considered as lack of sufficient faith but as an opportunity to get healthy and treat diseases as God has given man the expertise to diagnose diseases and offer appropriate interventions.

Christians need to consider and believe that medical intervention is a means of respecting God’s command for individuals to seek medical treatment and not a show of insufficient faith. Jesus Christ asked his disciples to seek medical interventions as people in goof health do not need a physician but those ailing. God does not mandate Christians to disregard medicine or medical interventions and even decline medical procedures and processes (Carr & Winslow, 2017). Medical knowledge comes from God as a gift to benefit believers and all humanity. Therefore, Christians have a duty to seek medical care as a way of honoring God using their bodies and making them clean without any disease. They should respect their bodies as God’s dwelling place and make them holy by getting treated for any sickness and staying healthy, spiritually and physically.

As a true practicing Christian, Mike needs to permit his son to undergo the needed medical intervention, the kidney transplant with the hope and trust in God that He will heal through the intervention. Mike should understand that God will use the healthcare providers to heal his son and restore him back to health (Carr & Winslow, 2017). God heals the sick by expecting them to use available provisions like health facilities. Mike needs to understand that physicians treat but God heals. Mike should pray as the health team intervenes in his son’s situation.

Beneficence entails making decisions with the best interests of a patient while non-maleficence refers to not harming an individual requiring medical intervention. Mike needs to view beneficence as the conventional function of medical doctors are Good Samaritans that come to the aid of the sick to relieve suffering and pain Mike should accept non-maleficence by accepting a kidney transplant for his son (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). He should also accept James’s twin brother to donate the matching kidney as advised by the physician.  Through this actions, Mike will observe the principle of non-maleficence while upholding his trust and hope in God’s miracles.

Significance of a Spiritual Needs Assessment

Spiritual needs assessment are critical aspects of providing cultural competent care, especially when dealing with patients who uphold their religious values and use them as part of their treatment interventions or therapies. A spiritual assessment provides an opportunity and environment to discuss patient’s experiences and their family in coping with disease condition and enhancing their spiritual perspective, particularly when their beliefs contradict with medical decisions and suggested interventions (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). Therefore, a spiritual assessment would be essential in this case as it will help Mike to determine the most effective intervention for his son and the family as well as those involved in the care of James. The physician will also understand their spiritual needs concerning the medical care and use of interventions that will respect and align with their spiritual beliefs.

Spiritual assessment of patients requires certain aspects that include support for spiritual beliefs, resources and participation in spiritual activities. upon the identification of spiritual and religious needs of James’ parents, family and members of their church, a decision is required on whether the physician has the ability to meet the spiritual needs (Isaac et al., 2017). The implication is that physicians do not specialize in spiritual assessment and are not in a position to offer guidance. The physician has no role in providing spiritual guidance. The physician should refer Mike to chaplain to conduct spiritual assessment and offer pastoral care to address the spiritual needs of the parents. Through the spiritual needs assessment, the chaplain can offer positive views to Mike about the need to trust the medical process and intervention to heal his son by accepting medical intervention as recommended by the physician.


Spiritual and religious beliefs form fundamental part of many believers, especially Christians, and should be considered when offering medical interventions. Physicians and other healthcare professionals need to know that patients require culturally competent care that implore the analysis of their spiritual needs and how their faith impact care decisions. The analysis of the case study demonstrates the need to understand cultural competence as critical to patient-centered care provision and better outcomes.


Astrow, A. B., Kwok, G., Sharma, R. K., Fromer, N., & Sulmasy, D. P. (2018). Spiritual needs

and perception of quality of care and satisfaction with care in hematology/medical oncology patients: a multicultural assessment. Journal of pain and symptom management, 55(1), 56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2017.08.009.

Carr, M. F., & Winslow, G. R. (2017). From conceptual to concrete. In World Religions for

Healthcare Professionals (pp. 31-45). Routledge.

Isaac, K., Hay, J., & Lubetkin, E.  (2017) Incorporating Spirituality in primary Care. Journal of

Religion and Health, 55(3), 1065-1077. DOI: 10.1007/s10943-016-0190-2

Timmins, F. & Caldeira, S. (2017). Assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Nursing Standards,

31(29): 47-53. DOI: 10.7748/ns. 2017.e10312.