Healing and Autonomy case study | Applying the Four Principles

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 Indications

Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

Patient Preferences


The most profound acts of beneficence and nonmaleficence in the “Healing and Autonomy” case study include Mike and Joanne’s selfless acts of offering their kidney on instant for James’ kidney transplant. This is also evident among the close friends and church members who offered to donate a kidney to James. However, this proved to be impossible as all of them were incompatible. The aspect of patient preferences constitutes of James’ prognosis and requirement of continuous dialysis process. The dialysis process at first was a temporary measure intended to make James regain strength and capacity for the body to heal. This fast deteriorated following James’ parents’ decision to forego medical treatment and for the faith and God’s divine intervention. This was pure negligence of James (patient) preference – but as a minor the decision remained to be made by his parents.
Quality of Life

Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy

Contextual Features

Justice and Fairness

The quality of life comprises of the conflicting aspects of faith and medical treatment. The choice placed on Mike and Joanne to determine the best course of action for James’ medical issue remained a profound issued that was profoundly difficulty. That is, whether to follow their faith and tests or look for medical treatment which could be interpreted as a failure to believe in God. The aspect of justice and fairness is evident is subjecting their other remaining healthy child (Samuel) into medical risks in order to save his brother. It would be just for James to receive a kidney from his brother for his transplant with prompts the question of fairness in subjecting Samuel to this ordeal. As parents, it is a torment to choose one son over the other and equally unfair to neglect James or subject Samuel to donating a kidney to his brother.



Part 2: Evaluation

Answer each of the following questions about how the four principles and four boxes approach would be applied:

  1. In 200-250 words answer the following: According to the Christian worldview, how would each of the principles be specified and weighted in this case? Explain why. (45 points)
·       Beneficence

In the Christian worldview, it is integral to be selfless, kind hearted, and bighearted to others. The suffering of James brought his parents closer to God. Also, their selfless act of donating their kidney to James is a proof of beneficence. As well, close friends and church members’ willingness to donate a kidney to James is a proof of Christians’ selflessness and commitment to helping others (Varkey, 2021).

·       Nonmaleficence

The aspect of nonmaleficence from a Christian’s worldview is evident in James physicians respect of his parents’ decision to follow their faith and desire of God’s intervention. Despite rapid return of James to the hospital as an emergency case – the doctors remained committed to treating him to the best of their ability. This is the absolute aspect of nonmaleficence which requires physicians to do no harm to the patients.

·       Autonomy

Autonomy revolves on the capacity of the patient, guardian, parent or person who has the power to make medical decisions on behalf of another to choose the best cause of action. As Christians, it is integral to choose that which is of the most benefit to the affected person (Lulé, Kúbler & Ludolph, 2019).

·       Justice

As Christians, justice should be accorded equally and fairly to all individuals. James should have justice in accessing the best care possible. It is paramount for Samuel to be accorded equal measure of justice in making the decision whether he should donate a kidney to his brother.


  1. In 200-250 words answer the following: According to the Christian worldview, how might a Christian balance each of the four principles in this case? Explain why. (45 points)
In a Christian worldview, balancing of the four principles; beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, and justice is a fundamental feature to live on and accord it to other people. Beneficence is well balanced in all aspects as it guides the best action for the benefit of the affected person. This allows all actions taken to be ethically correct and beneficial to the affected person (Varkey, 2021). That is, all decisions and actions were geared towards seeing James healthy. Nonmaleficence revolves on the doctor’s duty to cause no harm to their patients. James’ doctors remained committed to seeing him heal and regain his health. Autonomy comes in the decision making for the best cause of action. In this aspect, choosing between the divine intervention and following the physician’s advice on what is medically correct for the patient. To balance the principle of autonomy, James’ parent should seek medical treatment and divine intervention to cure him. Choosing one over another is wrong and undermines the capacity to regain the required health. Therefore, it is crucial for Mike and Joanne to ensure James receives the best care possible while remaining faithful to God and seeking His divine intervention in healing their child. The capacity to balance justice posits a profound dilemma to Mike and Joanne (Stone, 2018). This is because, they are required to expose their other son, Samuel to health risks donating a kidney to his brother. This should be sustained through ascertaining all medical risks and ensuring the best procedures are conducted accurately and effectively in the aspect where Samuel is operated to donate a kidney to his brother. Therefore, in Christian’s worldview, every potential approach should be executed to save both their sons.




Lulé, D., Kübler, A., & Ludolph, A. C. (2019). Ethical principles in patient-centered medical care to support quality of life in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Frontiers in neurology10, 259.

Stone, E. G. (2018). Evidence-based medicine and bioethics: implications for health care organizations, clinicians, and patients. The Permanente Journal22.

Varkey, B. (2021). Principles of clinical ethics and their application to practice. Medical Principles and Practice30(1), 17-28.

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Healing and Autonomy case study | Applying the Four Principles . (2022, June 20). Essay Writing . Retrieved July 03, 2022, from https://www.essay-writing.com/samples/healing-and-autonomy/
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