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Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

Sample Answer 

Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

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 problem James faces is a result of a strep infection of the throat. Initially, it was possible to contain the problem, but the parents chose to delay for 2 days

·         The doctor diagnosed James with kidney failure and acute glomerulonephritis

·         Normally acute glomerulonephritis often resolves on its own and after an antibiotic is administered

·         However, James is experiencing a fluid build-up and elevated blood pressure.

·         It was paramount that James gets immediate medical assistance to relieve the acute symptoms


·         James is only 8 years old, and hence any medical decisions are at the discretion of his parents.

·         The nursing staff has done their duty of informing the parents of the benefits of starting dialysis immediately and also on the repercussions of not doing so.

·         However, James’ parents choose to depend on their faith in God to heal their son. This is after a sermon they had listened to and witnessed a woman healed of paralysis after suffering from a stroke

·         The faith that Mike and Joanne have has clouded their reasoning, which is later witnessed when they return two days after their son’s condition worsens. They begin to doubt their faith and also their position and that of their child in God. They believe that either they or their son is being punished by a God who heals others and not their son.

·         Although the decision to delay dialysis is scientifically catastrophic, the medical team respect the parents’ wishes nonetheless.


Quality of Life

Beneficence, Nonmaleficence, Autonomy

Contextual Features

Justice and Fairness

·         The delay caused by the parents on starting dialysis has negatively and permanently affected both James and Samuel’s lives.

·         James needs a kidney transplant, and the only viable donor is his brother Samuel.

·         The parents have to live with the knowledge that they have subjected Samuel to an unnecessary surgery that could have been avoided; hence, they will live with guilt for the longest time.

·         The twin boys’ physical activities will be curtailed to a certain degree after the kidney transplant. Their diet will also need to change.

·         The two boys will also be affected psychologically because of having to undergo surgery.


·         Mike and Joanne have the autonomy to make decisions concerning James’ health. However, the decision they make is both unfair and costly for James

·         The faith of the parents costs James what would have been a healthier life as opposed to one of continuous dialysis. It also costs the same for Samuel.

·         In their folly, the parents are faced with a decision to be just and have to get Samuel to offer his kidney, a price that Samuel has to pay for the rest of his life and which the parents have to bear spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, and financially.

·         The parents feel that God has not been just and fair for not healing their son. At the same time, they feel that they or their son is unworthy of God’s healing, and hence God is punishing either or all of them.


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)
In weighing the four principles, it calls for determining which one deserves to be given the highest priority (Beever & Brightman, 2016). In this case, quality of life should have been given the first priority over autonomy. The parents should have considered the kind of life they would want for James before making the decision to go the faith way. Although they had faith, their faith does not apply to a child. A person’s faith is individual; one cannot have faith on behalf of another. Jesus, in His healing of the sick, recounted on numerous occasions that the individual’s faith healed them. A case in point was the woman with the issue of blood and the man born blind, who were both healed from their faith (Matthew 9:20–22; John 9:1-12). Joanne’s faith was not necessarily Mike’s faith; faith with doubt results in disappointment, as was taught by Jesus (Gillon, 2018). Hence, the ethics of beneficence and nonmaleficence should have taken first priority, and James treated immediately. Patient preference should have taken second place, where the parents had the moral duty of telling their son of the medical situation at hand. James should have been given the opportunity to express what he would like because even as a child, he has the right to choose whether he would want God to heal him miraculously or through treatment (SSorajjakool et al., 2017). Justice and fairness would come last because allowing James to participate in his treatment decision would be fair to him and, consequently, for 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)
Paul in 2nd Corinthians 4:16-17 acknowledged that day by day, our bodies waste away, yet at the same time, we are renewed daily. A Christian is not to live on this earth forever, and just as everyone else was created in a vulnerable body, so too can a Christian get disease and sickness. The hope of a better life after one dies is what gives a Christian the perseverance to live in this world and yet not be of this world (John 17:16). The troubles that a Christian faces are just but a passing wind, and what one needs is to be anchored in the knowledge that everything that happens is in accordance with the wisdom of God (Job 1:6-22). Hence, in this case, the parents to the twins should have known that nothing catches God by surprise and instead asked for faith to believe that all things would work out for the good of their child and the family. Therefore, Mike and Joanne should have allowed the doctors to start the treatment knowing that the wisdom the doctors possess comes from the God that the two serve. Additionally, they should have held on to the knowledge that God can heal their son at any point; this can be demonstrated by the story where Jesus was asleep on the boat even when there was a storm, and despite the harrowing experience the disciples went through, He still woke up and calmed the storm (Mark 4:35-41)





Beever, J., & Brightman, A. O. (2016). Reflexive principlism as an effective approach for developing ethical reasoning in engineering. Science and engineering ethics22(1), 275-291.

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

New Inteernational Version Bible

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


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Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

This assignment will incorporate a common practical tool in helping clinicians begin to ethically analyze a case. Organizing the data in this way will help you apply the four principles and four boxes approach.

Based on the “Case Study: Healing and Autonomy” and other required topic study materials, you will complete the “Applying the Four Principles: Case Study” document that includes the following:

Case Study on Biomedical Ethics in the Christian Narrative

Part 1: Chart
This chart will formalize the four principles and four boxes approach and the four-boxes approach by organizing the data from the case study according to the relevant principles of biomedical ethics: autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice.

Part 2: Evaluation
This part includes questions, to be answered in a total of 500 words, that describe how principalism would be applied according to the Christian worldview.

Remember to support your responses with the topic study materials.

APA style is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.


  • PHI-413V-RS-T3T5CaseStudyHealingAndAutonomy.docx
  • PHI-413V-RS-T3ApplyingFourPrinciplesCaseStudy.docx

Maximum Points: 150.0

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