Applying the Four Principles: Case Study

Part 1: Chart (60 points)

Based on the ” Healing and Autonomy” case study , fill out all the relevant boxes below. Provide the information by means of bullet points or a well-structured paragraph in the box. Gather as much data as possible.

Medical IndicationsBeneficence and NonmaleficencePatient PreferencesAutonomy
· In terms of beneficence , it would have beneficial to James ifhe started the dialysis earlier rather than a week later.· It is also beneficial that if possible James gets a kidney transplant from his brother rather than wait another. The wait might expose James to other health complications thatare not present at the moment· In terms of nonma leficence, having James treated as soon as possible or getting a kidney transplant wrn go a lon g way avoid worsening James situation or the intrnduction of othercomplications.· In tenns of autonomy , as much as health decisions of minors lies in their guardians or parents , it isimportant that their autonomy is respected. Samuel should not be forced to give up one of his kidney to save his brother if he is not up to it.· As much as Mike and Joanne believe in God, their belief should not have been forced to James considering his health was on the line. James shouldhave gotten the dialysis considering his condition was severe.
Qua lity of LifeBeneficence , Nonmaleficence, AutonomyContextual FeaturesJustice and Fairness
· The consideration to wait for a year to see if the faith that Mike and Joan have for their son is sufficient threatens the quality of life that James will live.· James may be forced to undergo pain whereas getting a kidney transplant from his brother would help do away withthe pain.· The year long wait for healing has the potential to cause more pain to James.· It is not fair and just that James had to stay a week longer without dialysis yet it was possible for him toaccess the treatment.· It is also not fair to James to wait for a ·whole year to see if faith heals yet he has access to a potential organdonation that would help in his treatment.· It is als o not just to have Samue l donate a !kidney to his brother if he is not willing .

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· The instance that Samuel should donate a kidney to his brother without consent threatens to decrease the quality of life that Samuel will live in the future.


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Part 2: Evaluation

Answer each of the following questions about how prin.ciplism would be applied:

1. In 200-250 words answer the following: According to the Christian worldview, which of the four principles is most pressing in this case? Explain why. (45 poin ts)

The most pressing of the four principles is the beneficence principle. The first reason is pegged on the belief that the beneficence principle emphasizes on tl1e admission of medical treatment that offer the most benefits to the patient (Martela & Ryan, 2016), A look: at the case shows that Mike and Joan are torn in between choosing to trust in God or have James get medical treatment. In the first scenario , Mike and Joan opt not to have James undergo dialysis as they wait on God to provide healing. The best solution for their predicament would have been to let James undergo dialysis as the process would have still relied on trusting that the process would heal their son. In addition, the dialysis process promised more benefits to the young boy as compared to the wait without any treatment.

In the Christian world view, the general belief is that God is the ultimate healer and that He works in mysterious ways. By Milk:e and Joanne considering not having their son get a transplant from their other son and wait for a year is in a way losing faith because God works in a mysterious way and in addition it denies James the benefit of having proper health. Since the Christian worldview believes that God works in mysterious ways, James should get the organ transplant and may be God would work through the donated organ to heal James.


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2. In 200-250 wor ds answer the following; According to the Christian wor ld view, ho w might a Christi an rank the priority of the four principles? Exp lain why. (45 points )

A Chr is tian would rank the principle wit h the highest priori ty as the principle of justice.

The principle of justice emphasizes that fairness should be c-0nsidered in the making of ethical decisions in the health sector. According to Christians, God is a just God who insists that justice should alwa ys prevail. For example, the bible is against the mistreating of widows and orphans as they do not have people to defend them. The principle of Justice places a lot of emphasis on not making up hazard decisions but on the making of decisions that will ensure that justice prevails. A Christian would classify the beneficence principle as the second most important principle (Houston

2016). This is because the principle emphasizes on taking on an approach that provided the most benefit not only to those directly affected by a situation but also those indirectly affected by a situation. According to Christianity, Christians are supposed to live a life that benefits all people. Christians are not expected to be selfish and for that reason are supposed to look for solutions that benefit all people.

Christian would rank the nonmaleficence principle as the third most important principle after beneficence. The nonmaleficence principle emphasizes on trucing approaches that do not cause Imm or that cause the least harm (Cher venak & McCullough 2016) According to Christianity, Christians are to look for solutions that do not cause ha1m to their neighbors. The least important principle of the fom ethical principles is autonomy. Autonomy emphasizes a lot on self which is something that is not encouraged by Christians. For example the bible is against the denial r postponing of a service or help to a neighbor just because one can yet they have the abilit y and means to provide help at the moment. The principle of autonom y emphasizes a lot on self which is not encomaged of Christians.


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Chervenak , F. A , & McCullo ugh, L. B_ ( 2016, June)_ Healthcare justice and human rights in

perinatal medicine. In Seminars in perinatology (Vol. 40, No. 4 pp 234-236). WB Saunders.

Houston , W. J. (2016). Justice _- The biblical challenge. Rou tledge.


Martela F., & Ryan R. M. (2016). The benefits of benevolence: Basic psychological needs,

beneficence, and the enhancement of well-being_ Journal ofpersonalily, 8-1(6), 750-764

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