Healing and Autonomy

Published: 2021-07-07 00:25:14
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IntroductionThe children suffer the consequences of parental autonomy that rely on spiritual healing rather than appropriate medical treatment. Many children die when they receive no medical treatment because medical institutes and doctors cannot take decisions without parents autonomy. Conflicts appear as parents need to choose between child welfare and their practice of religion. In real life relying merely on spiritual healing is not sufficient and it results in deaths of children. In the present scenario, Mike and Joanne encounter ethical dilemma as they need to choose between their child’s health or faith. Their decision of avoiding James’s dialysis results in his deteriorated condition. However, their faith is tested when they have to choose between a miracle or donating the kidney of their healthy son. They can either rely on miracle and hope for James’s recovery or donate the kidney of Samuel (Hickey & Lyckholm, 2004).Christians vision gives considerable importance to spirituality as it relies on principles of Christianity. The narrative promotes belief in God as it impacts human life positively. God is the most powerful entity in religion and nothing can happen against his will. It also confers the belief that God is in charge of taking lives, “the Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up” (Samuel 2:6). Ethical decision making allows Christians to take right decisions. Ethics is to choose right and good through the application of Christian faith in decision-making. Bible emphasizes on following Christian faith involving religious values and principles. The ethical issues require the application of religious principles in real life such as in case of illness. Under influence of Christian vision, Mike and Joanne reject the medical treatment of their child. The decision of Mike in unjust and unethical because it results in further health damage. Bible helps in everyday moral decisions, not complicates the situation. Christian principles emphasize on making good choices and good choices do not lead to pain or sufferings. The application of the biblical views depicts determining right actions in each situation and defining applicable rules of religion. The choice must lead to best outcomes indicating minimization of harms. Biblical principles suggest understanding the rules and their consequences. Evidence reveals that Christianity promoted health and welfare. The concept of child welfare is also derived from Christian scripture promoting health and quality of care. The decision of Mike depicts that he did not understand the actual meaning of spirituality resulting in the wrong decision (Alistair & Wayne, 2010).Through physician has a duty to save the life of a child and take appropriate actions that lead to his health stability and welfare but parental autonomy has a significant role in decision-making. The doctor has a responsibility to inform the parents about the exact condition of the child and suggest adequate measures to prevent further loss. The physician also needs to inform them about the consequences in case of rejecting treatment. In the present scenario, the physical must convince the parents about the weaker health of James and provide reasoning for dialysis. The physician must not simply accept the decision of Mike because he can perceive the adversities associated with his unwise decision. However, in real life, the physician face limitations as he is not able to act against parents autonomy. Though he could identify the risks associated with the irrational decision of Mike he can’t take the child for dialysis without parents permission. Event with physician’s disagreement, Mike is capable of choosing for the life of his son. It is parents right to consider other treatments and possibilities. The physician in such conditions can only use medical evidence to present dialysis as an effective treatment. The doctor cannot simply ignore the decision of parents and continue the treatment that according to him is the best fit. Even if he recognizes the irrationality in Mike’s decision he cannot force them for undergoing dialysis (Orfail, 2009). Patient’s autonomy reveals that a competent authority can take the decision regarding the treatment. Physical cannot take any decision that is against parent’s autonomy.In the present case refusal of Mike is the result of his Christian beliefs. It is important to link spirituality with human capacity of self-existence in everyday life and providing fulfilment for the meaning of life. Christian spirituality entails one’s experiences of life and also engages in the field of science and medicine. Spirituality and Christianity resulted in the formulation of principles of bioethics challenging the beliefs related to meaning and value. Christian narrative suggests a connection between ethics and medicine. The principle of totality states providing purpose and meaning to one’s life. It also believes in the idea of totality making care programs part of religious beliefs. The physical health of an individuals shows a relationship with spiritual well-being. The Christian belief identifies providing relief to people who are in pain. The views promote the concept of helping others and protecting them from harm. Under Christian viewpoint rejecting dialysis will cause further harm to the child that is wrong. Similarly the fact that dialysis will provide relief from pain and improve child’s health recognize dialysis as a religious option. According to the Christian views treatment refusal is accepted when it is useless or incurs burden. According to the principle of totality, organ transplantation is not unethical because it leads to wholeness. Organ donation is an act of love as Jesus instructed to love people and neighbors. The concept of loving neighbor exhibits care towards people and humanity. Organ transplantation is not considered sin because it leads to the survival of humanity (Hickey & Lyckholm, 2004).The concept of sickness and health prevails in the Christianity, as Jesus promoted the idea of compassion. Compassion according to Christian belief has close relevance with healing. Jesus also emphasized the concept of ‘life to the fill’ reflecting mental and physical health. Mike viewed sickness from a purely Christian perspective but the views of Christians regarding health varies. Some Christians believe that sickness is to test their patience and faith in God. While others believe that God created doctors and help so they must get rid of sickness. Mike displays former belief and initially he thinks that keeping his son away from medical treatment will prove his faith. Also, he thought seeking medical help will result in his failure as a Christian. However, he could reason that God advised people to help each other and he is against pain. So treating James will provide him relief from the pain and suffering. He could also use views of Jesus who promoted the idea of compassion and care towards human (Alistair & Wayne, 2010).ConclusionChoosing between medical treatment and religion often puts Christians in a conflicting situation. The role of spirituality in deciding for the acceptance or rejection of the treatment depends on how people perceive the religious beliefs. Mike was initially unable to think about the relationship between spirituality and healthcare that resulted in the deteriorated health of James. The deeper meaning of Christianity emphasize on helping people and protecting them from harm. the right decision of Mike would be to seek medical help. The concept depicts Christianity promotes health and allow taking actions that help in avoiding sufferings or pain.ReferencesAlistair, M., & Wayne, K. (2010). Ethics at Work Overview. Theology of Work Project, 40.Hickey, K. S., & Lyckholm, L. (2004). Child welfare versus parental autonomy: medical ethics, the law, and faith-based healing. Theor Med Bioeth, 25 (4), 265-76.Orfail, K. (2009). Parental role in medical decision-making: fact or fiction? A comparative study of ethical dilemmas in French and American neonatal intensive care units. Soc Sci Med, 58 (10), 22.

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