Essay Example on Patient's autonomy is the patient's right to make Decisions








Patient's autonomy is the patient's right to make decisions concerning their medical care without the influence of healthcare professional or provider on their decisions A patient's autonomy is based on the ability of the patients to evaluate available options before confidently making a decision and developing strategies to achieve the decision made Noom Dekovic Meeus 2001 This autonomy in healthcare has become a source of concern for biomedical ethics because the ability of healthcare professionals to respect patients autonomy is sometimes in conflict with their ability to act according to the dictate of responsible medical practice Noom Dekovic Meeus 2001 Entwistle Carter Cribb McCaffery 2010 In the case study Mike and Joanne believed God for the healing of their son and they were determined to demonstrate their faith by ignoring counsel for medical treatment and exercising their autonomy however James condition deteriorated The physician had educated Mike and Joanne on possible medical steps that would be necessary for James healing which might involve kidney donation by his twin brother Samuel Mike was in a dilemma of maintaining the position of faith in God for James healing or to allow Samuel donate a kidney to James

The sometimes conflicting responsibility of healthcare professionals towards practice and patients is often a source of a problem in the patient doctor relationship Bremberg Nilstun 2000 There is no single perspective or belief in healing among Christians There are variations according to denominations and sects Some Christians such as the Baptist church believes that they can medical healing should be embraced and that it is God's provision to heal mankind However other denominations of Christians like the Jehovah's witnesses and some Pentecostal churches believe that since God had been declared to be the healer in the bible every other source of healing is contrary These latter denominations are more unlikely to receive acute medical help or organ donation Also almost all Christians believe in faith and the test of their faith however their ability to maintain their belief in the face of suffering and serious adversity is considered an evidence of their faith in God This extended to healthcare by some denominations as mentioned earlier while other denominations do not believe that their faith they would prove their faith in God by choosing to endure health conditions that can be treated through medical science The case study is an example of the conflict of between spirituality and the dictate of ethical medical practice Mike and Joanne were in a dilemma of choosing between the expectations of their spiritual belief which is to have faith in the face of crisis and choosing medical recommendation by the physician to save the life of their son James To all Christians faith was a necessary weapon for overcoming all types of challenges but some believe that it must be demonstrated by not giving in the pressure to tackle the challenge through other methods such as taking a medical alternative It is expected that if the couple exercises their faith James would be healed of the ailment 

Mathew 13 58 James not being healed after the initial prayers and the deterioration in his health were viewed as a test of their faith They believe suffering might be required to prove one's faith in God Again if they are not able to trust God alone for James healing by totally relying on him it would be viewed as lack of faith in such Christian denomination Also there is a belief that the effort of the doctors could be unnecessary and sometimes futile when the choice of medical treatment is made over the expression of their faith through their refusal to apply faith Moreover Mike and Joanne were fulfilling the obligation of faith as expected of their belief This is further encouraged by the knowledge that the right of patients to self determination overrides the physician s recommendation Bremberg Nilstun 2000

The healthcare professionals need to be sensitive to their patients spiritual needs by giving consideration to their religion and faith Nouwen 2011 said the denial of their spirituality would be a denial of their person as a whole However the right of the parent over minors in life threatening circumstances has been highly debated Issues faced by the physician were the ethical dilemmas of allowing Mike to continue to infringe on the child's right to medical treatment or to respect the ethics of patient s autonomy which can be expressed by the parents since the patient is a child Blake 2012 is of the view that Mike and James are not the patients to the physician although having the parental right over James the right for parental decision is limited to the promotion of the child's well being The right of parents to make healthcare decisions for their children is not absolute and should be set aside when the wellbeing of the child is compromised When the wellbeing of a child is compromised a state may overrule the decision of the parents to ensure that adequate care is provided for the child Also the state can take custody of the child through litigation against the parents Another issue that arose from the case study was another ethical challenge of taking a kidney from Samuel for the treatment of his brother James Samuel is also a minor and lacks the capacity to give an informed consent If the parents gave their consent for James to be treated and for Samuel to be a donor of the needed kidney then the autonomy of the parents would be sufficient for the two children Blake 2012

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