Healing and Autonomy Essay 3

Healing and Autonomy Essay 3

Healing and Autonomy Essay 3

Write a 1,200-1,500 word analysis of “Case Study: Healing and Autonomy.” In light of the readings, be sure to address the following questions:

  1. Under the Christian narrative and Christian vision, what issues are most pressing in this case study?
  2. Should the physician allow Mike to continue making decisions that seem to him to be irrational and harmful to James?
  3. According to the Christian narrative and the discussion of treatment refusal, patient autonomy, and organ donation in the topic readings, how might one analyze this case?
  4. According to the topic readings and lecture, how should Christians think about sickness and health? What should Mike, as a Christian, do? How should he reason about trusting God and treating James?

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines in the APA Style Guide in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric before beginning the assignment to familiarize yourself with the expectations for successful completion.

Mike and Joanne are the parents of James and Samuel, identical twins born eight years ago. James is currently suffering from acute glomerulonephritis and kidney failure. James was originally brought into the hospital for complications associated with a strep throat infection.

The spread of the A streptococcus infection led to subsequent kidney failure. James’ condition was acute enough to warrant immediate treatment. Usually, cases of acute glomerulonephritis caused by strep infection tend to improve independently or with an antibiotic.

However, James also had elevated blood pressure and enough fluid buildup that required temporary dialysis to relieve.

The attending physician suggested immediate dialysis. After some time of discussion with Joanne, Mike informs the physician that they are going to forego the dialysis and place their faith in God.

Mike and Joanne had been moved by a sermon their pastor had given a week ago and witnessed a close friend regain mobility when she was prayed over at a healing service after a serious stroke.

They thought it more prudent to take James immediately to a faith-healing service instead of putting James through multiple rounds of dialysis. Yet Mike and Joanne agreed to return to the hospital after the faith healing services later in the week, hoping that James would be healed by then.


Two days later, the family returned and was forced to place James on dialysis as his condition had deteriorated. Mike felt perplexed and tormented by his decision not to treat James earlier. Had he not enough faith? Was God punishing him or James?

To make matters worse, James’ kidneys had deteriorated such that his dialysis was now not temporary, and he needed a kidney transplant. Crushed and desperate, Mike and Joanne immediately offered to donate one of their kidneys to James, but they were not compatible donors.

Over the next few weeks, amidst daily rounds of dialysis, some of their close friends and church members also offered to donate a kidney to James. However, none of them were tissue matches.

James’ nephrologist called to schedule a private appointment with Mike and Joanne. James was stable and given regular dialysis but would require a kidney transplant within the year.

Given the desperate situation, the nephrologist informed Mike and Joanne of a donor that was an ideal tissue match but, as of yet, had not been considered—James’ brother Samuel.

Healing and Autonomy Essay 3

Mike pauses and struggles to decide whether he should have his other son Samuel lose a kidney or perhaps wait for God to do a miracle this time. Perhaps this is where the real testing of his faith will come in. “This time around, it is a matter of life and death, what could require greater faith than that?” Mike reasons.