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PHI 413 Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

PHI 413 Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

Part 1: Chart

Medical Indications

Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

In order to make a diagnosis and determine treatment options, there is a need to assess medical indications exhibited by a patient. Beneficence refers to a health professional acting with best intentions to provide care to patients whereas non-beneficence encourages care providers not to do harm (Gillon, 2018). As per the case study, the surrogates of James acted in the best interest of the patient even the medical condition of James would still be worse even when treated.

Patient Preferences


Autonomy refers to the right of patients to express their choice or make a decision of care yet to be administered to them (Gillon, 2018). Even though James is an underage child, his right to autonomy must be upheld. The parents ought to have consulted the patient before making a decision on care.  The physician had limited influence to alter the decisions made by the parents.

Quality of Life

Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy

In the healthcare setting, quality of life entail the medical features of a patient after a therapy has been administered (Gillon, 2018). As per the case study, the health condition of James was worst but improved significantly after dialysis. Conversely, the patient needs a renal replacement therapy involving a kidney transplant to improve the quality of his life. His brother can donate to him his kidney but his father has an opinion to rely on faith regarding the health status of James. The parents, however, should consult James regarding the issue because the last time they relied on faith his condition worsened (Gillon, 2018). The parents should act in the best interest so that the brother can donate the kidney to optimize the quality of health for James.

Contextual Feature

Justice and Fairness

Medical decision can greatly be influenced by familial and social factors as well as legal considerations. In the case study, James’ parents relied on faith when making decision for the health status of their son (Gillon, 2018). They focused more on religious beliefs for healing rather than receiving kidney from his bother. However, the conflict of interest arose when there was a mismatch of cells between James and his brother meaning that the latter could not donate his kidney. This made the parents were therefore willing to donate the kidney and even appealed for the goodwill of well-wishers to offer this vital organ.



Part 2: Evaluation

Four Principles most Pressing according to Christian worldview

In the Christian perspectives, beneficence emerge as the principle with the most pressing issue pertaining to the health of a patient. The argument is guided by the premise that James’ parents made decision in the interest of their ailing son. They blindly believed that James would be healed with the support from their daily prayers (SSorajjakool et al., 2017). In this context, the parents relied more on prayers rather than providing kidney to support the life of James. Other than medical support, the parents had faith that prayers also work. No one can criticize their approach and perception in life considering that they made attempts to address the health of their son despite his deteriorating health (Hubbell, Kauschinger & Oermann, 2017). They were also against the idea about the brother donating one of his kidneys to the ailing James. All these actions affirm that the parents cared for the health status of their children. In fact, when the health status of James deteriorated while receiving homecare, they took him back to the care facility for further examination. With this, the parents aimed at addressing the health of their son despite wrong decisions that they sometimes made with regard to his care.

How a Christian might rank the Priority of the Four Principles

In an approach of health, a Christian can give priority to the four principles by starting with beneficence as it is based on one’s

PHI 413 Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

PHI 413 Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

goodwill regarding the health of others. According to Christian teachings, parents need to provide love to their children and this is consistent with the principle of beneficence (SSorajjakool et al., 2017). The second priority goes to nonmaleficence which points as doing no harm to patients. Christian parents should not intend or initiate activities that harm their children. The principle is based on the Christian teaching that human life is sacred and that it should be protected by everyone. Justice and fairness are ranked the third as they ensure that health service delivery is provided without preferential treatment to anyone. In Christian teaching, every human being is equal before God and this should be demonstrated during provision of care. The last ranking on the list will be autonomy which ensures that patients make decisions on medical services provided to them. Christians need to allow their patients to choose their option of care and this decision must be respected (Hubbell, Kauschinger & Oermann, 2017). The premise ensures that the dignity of every person is upheld so that one receives quality service to improve on their well-being.


Gillon, R. (2018). Principlism, virtuism, and the spirit of oneness. In Healthcare Ethics, Law and Professionalism (pp. 45-59). Routledge.

Hubbell, S. L., Kauschinger, E., & Oermann, M. (2017). Development and Implementation of an Educational Module to Increase Nurses’ Comfort With Spiritual Care in an Inpatient Setting. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing48(8), 358-364.

SSorajjakool, S., Carr, M. F., Nam, J. J., Sorajjakool, S., & Bursey, E. (2017). World religions for healthcare professionals. Routledge.


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Topic 2 DQ 2

Sep 5-9, 2022

According to your worldview, what value does a human person have? How does your position affect your stance on controversial bioethical issues, such as abortion, designer babies, and stem cell research?



According to your worldview, what value does a human person have? How does your position affect your stance on controversial bioethical issues, such as abortion, designer babies, and stem cell research?


A human person had certain capacities, like reason, moral capacity, and consciousness (White, H. 2020). A person can make their own decisions about their life, so with being a Christian, on is not to judge others. With being a nurse, we must maintain a no judgement attitude when dealing with our patients. I have been waiting for this topic to come up in this class about the controversial bioethical issues, due to what I do as a nurse. I work in OBGYN, so these topics hit close to home for me. Abortion is a huge controversial topic among everyone. For me personally, I will never have one, as it is just not for me. However, in my line of work, I do have to help out patients that need to have one done. This is done by sending out resource information, not in my office. Some people think that a women have abortions because they do not want that baby. This is very far from the truth, I see women in my office crying because they need to terminate their very much desired pregnancy due to a severe medial abnormality that is not compatible with life. These women choose to terminate the pregnancy due to not wanting their baby to suffer after they are born. There are more reasons than just abnormalities that women choose to terminate their pregnancy, and those reasons are for that patient and their wishes. Designer babies, this is very interesting as well, this is a more advanced IVF processing than the normal process. My office use to have an infertility clinic in house, this was until they moved into their own office. I have triaged and taken care of several different IVF pregnancy over that last 7 years. Within that time I have seen maybe 5 couples that have had a designer baby. Again, it is their life and if they wish to spend several hundreds of thousands of dollars on having what they picture as a “perfect baby”, they it is their choice. I am not one to judge on how a person got pregnant, I just want to ensure that both the mom and the baby stay healthy. As far as stem cell research, I am only supportive of the hematopoietic stem cell research. Hematopoietic stem cells from cord blood that can be banked and are widely used for allogenic and autologous stem cell transplantation in pediatric hematological diseases as an alternative to bone marrow transplantation. (Lo, B., et al., 2009). My office works with a cord blood banking facility and several patients choose to do this.


White, H. (2020). Practicing dignity: An introduction to christian values and decision making in health care. Retrieved from https://Ic.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care-v1.1/#/chapter/2


Lo, B., & Parham, L. (2009). Ethical issues in stem cell research. Endocrine reviews30(3), 204-213.



Thank you for your post. I was curious the insight of an OBGYN nurse. With roe vs. wade being overturned, has your office had any difficulty helping women find safe abortions?

“Stem cell-based therapies are recognized as a new way to treat various diseases and injuries, with a wide range of health benefits. The goal is to heal or replace diseased or destroyed organs or body parts with healthy new cells provided by stem cell transplantation.” (Chivu-Economescu, 2017). I had a patient that had a wound and they wanted to use a certain dressing that was from hematopoietic stem cell. As soon as the patient heard stem cells he was immediately against it. It took him a couple of weeks to agree to get the dressing to help heal his wound. He had did his research and felt like he was not “killing babies”.

Chivu-Economescu, M., & Rubach, M. (2017). Hematopoietic Stem Cells Therapies. Current stem cell research & therapy12(2), 124–133. https://doi.org/10.2174/1574888X10666151026114241

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