PHI 413 Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Paper

PHI 413 Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Paper

PHI 413 Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis Paper

Nurses need to understand different aspects that impact care delivery like a patient’s spiritual needs (Litalien et al., 2022). The case study on “Healing and Autonomy” shows the role spirituality plays in patients’ care and decisions that they make. James’ father, Mike, makes critical decisions that impact the overall care of his son when he suffers from a chronic condition that leads to the failure of his kidneys necessitating a dialysis as a temporary solution and a transplant as the long-term intervention to improve his condition. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the effects of the decisions, the role of medical interventions and what Christians ought to do and the role of spiritual needs assessment on patients.

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Allowing Mike to Make Decisions that are Harmful and Look Irrational

The case study presents a dilemma situation for the physician based on the biomedical ethical principles of autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and even justice. Autonomy mandates physicians and other providers to allow patients to make their decisions and consent to treatment interventions. Physicians and all healthcare workers (HCWs) can only provide sufficient information concerning diagnosis and all aspects of treatment. However, they cannot make decisions or coerce patients and their families to accepting their opinions and suggestions (Litalien et al., 2022). The physician notifies Mike about James’ situation as well a possible diagnosis and prognosis. However, the principle of autonomy demands that he allows Mike to make informed decision about the care of his son, James.

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The physician can only stress the gravity of James’ health and the possible consequences if he does not get the required interventions like an immediate kidney transplant after his condition gets worse. The physician should not coerce Mike to make decisions based on his terms but on what informs his best intentions and interests of James. In this case, it implies that Mike is free to make decisions that may seem not rational and harmful to James, like taking him to the church for the healing services that never improved his condition (Timmins & Caldeira, 2018). The physician is under obligation to offer sufficient information but never make decisions on behalf of the patient. James is a minor whose interests should be protected by his parents and the physician cannot interfere in the decisions that they make on his behalf.

Christians’ Thinking on Sickness and Health, Medical Intervention & Mike Trusting in God

The Christian perspective on health, sickness and medical interventions are based on the biblical narratives and teachings, especially as advanced by Jesus Christ. However, different denominations within the Christian faith have diverse perceptions on sickness, health and medical interventions. For a majority, sickness may not be a good sign of blessings while health is considered as a gift from God and an indication of His blessings. A majority of Christians believe that God has healing and miraculous powers that He demonstrates through the healing of the sick and restoration of health as illustrated in the public ministry of Jesus Christ and the prophetic writings where prophets also healed and cured people through His interventions (Sabo, 2021). Imperatively, Christians should consider sickness as a part of life and health as being temporary when they do not follow good practices.

Christians should not consider sickness as a sign of punishment from God but a normal part of life which can be eliminated through medical interventions. This implies that health can only be restored when a sick individual seeks remedies through medical interventions. Christians should think of both sickness and health as part of human living and anyone can get sick and seek medical interventions. A Christian needs to embrace medical intervention as even Jesus Christ asserted that those who are sick get to physicians to restore their health. Jesus did not condemn medical interventions or say that it is a manifestation of lack of faith. Jesus encouraged his disciples and followers to seek medical interventions and pray for healing. Christians should not depend on prayer and faith alone to treat ailments for the medical intervention and technologies can help remedy the sickness.

As a Christian, Mike should leave James in the hands of the physician and his team and trust in their best efforts to offer care and better interventions to improve his health. Mike should maintain his faith and hope for the best as the physician and his team embark on their duties to restore his son’s health (Sabo, 2021). Mike should consider the physician as God’s messenger to intervene in his son’s healing and restoration of health. Mike should continue attending church services and maintain his faith in God while allowing James to get the required medical attention.

Mike should understand the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence in relation to his son’s health and trust in God that He will use the physician to heal him. The principle of beneficence advances that physicians and healthcare providers focus on the best interest of the patient. Non-maleficence implores providers not to harm a patient but ensure that the interventions are safe (Sabo, 2021). In this case, Mike should understand that a transplant entails so many benefits compared to the dangers of not making the attempt. Postponing James’ treatment will continue harming him and Mike should make fast decisions by trusting in God and realize that these interventions are necessary.

Spiritual Needs Assessment

Patients and their families require spiritual resources and interventions to enhance their capacity to make better decisions and choices while in their conditions. A core aspect of these assessments is that one cannot avoid or wish away the pain associated with chronic conditions, especially the emotional and psychological effects (Green, 2021). However, a spiritual needs assessment establishes the areas of concern that psychologists can use certain tools to intervene and improve a patient’s overall preparedness levels. Spiritual assessment tools like HOPE offer patients and their families new perspectives and purpose of living as opposed to the devastating effects of diseases and terminal illnesses like kidney failure. HOPE as a spiritual evaluation tool entails a survey that offers physicians guidelines based on a host of ideas to certain applications (Sabo, 2021). The evaluation is a source of patients’ meaning and purpose of life, restores hope and allows them to navigate their personal spiritual growth and religious practices.

Mike and Joanne require a spiritual assessment or evaluation to determine the influence of their faith on the proposed medical interventions. Mike’s continual disregard for medical interventions at the expense of their son’s health requires in-depth understanding to help him make better choices. Mike prefers faith over medical therapy even after the healing intervention has failed to offer positive outcomes (McSherry et al., 2019). Through the spiritual assessment, the physician can enlist services of a chaplain to help explain the situation and convince Mike to allow Samuel donate a kidney for his brother.


The case study “Healing and Autonomy” shows the critical role that spirituality plays in patient treatment and interventions. Mike’s decisions seem irrational and harmful but the physician is under obligation, based on the principle of autonomy, not to interfere with the choices that he makes. However, a spiritual assessment would be essential to help understand Mike’s perspective and the influence of his church in this case. Christians should not shun medical interventions but consider them important to restoration of health and dealing with sicknesses.


Green, C. (2021). Nurses and patients’ perspectives on spiritual health assessment. Journal of

            religion and health, 60(1), 122-133. DOI: 10.1007/s10943-020-01113-5.

Litalien, M., Atari, D. O., & Obasi, I. (2022). The influence of religiosity and spirituality on

health in Canada: A systematic literature review. Journal of Religion and Health, 61(1), 373-414. DOI: 10.1007/s10943-020-01148-8.

McSherry, W., Ross, L., Balthip, K., Ross, N., & Young, S. (2019). Spiritual assessment in

healthcare: an overview of comprehensive, sensitive approaches to spiritual assessment for use within the interdisciplinary healthcare team. Spirituality in healthcare: perspectives for innovative practice, 39-54.

Sabo, A. (2021). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making

            In Health Care (1st Edition). Grand Canyon University – Digital Resources.

Timmins, F., & Caldeira, S. (2018). Assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Nursing Standard,

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

Villas Boas, A. (2020). Spirituality and health in pandemic times: lessons from the ancient

            wisdom. Religions, 11(11), 583.

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Assessment Description
In addition to the topic Resources, use the chart you completed and questions you answered in the Topic 3 about “Case Study: Healing and Autonomy” as the basis for your responses in this assignment.

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?
Remember to support your responses with the topic Resources.

While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies:

BS in Health Sciences 1.2; BS Nursing (RN to BSN ) 5.2

Assess for the spiritual needs and provide appropriate interventions for individuals, families, and groups.


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