ANSWERED!! What is your definition of spiritual care?


What is your definition of spiritual care? How does it differ or accord with the description given in the topic readings? Explain.

When it comes to facilitating spiritual care for patients with worldviews different from your own, what are your strengths and weaknesses? If you were the patient, who would have the final say in terms of ethical decision-making and intervention in the event of a difficult situation?
Benchmark – Patient’s Spiritual Needs: Case Analysis

In addition to the topic study materials, use the chart you completed and questions you answered in the Topic 3 about “Case Study: Healing and Autonomy” as the basis for your responses in this assignment.

Answer the following questions about a patient’s spiritual needs in light of the Christian worldview.

  1. In 200-250 words, respond to the following: Should the physician allow Mike to continue making decisions that seem to him to be irrational and harmful to James, or would that mean a disrespect of a patient’s autonomy? Explain your rationale.
  2. In 400-500 words, respond to the following: How ought the Christian think about sickness and health? How should a Christian think about medical intervention? What should Mike as a Christian do? How should he reason about trusting God and treating James in relation to what is truly honoring the principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence in James’s care?
  3. In 200-250 words, respond to the following: How would a spiritual needs assessment help the physician assist Mike determine appropriate interventions for James and for his family or others involved in his care?

Remember to support your responses with the topic study materials.

While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

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

Case Study: Healing and Autonomy

Mike and Joanne are the parents of James and Samuel, identical twins born 8 years ago. James is currently suffering from acute glomerulonephritis, 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 the subsequent kidney failure. James’s condition was acute enough to warrant immediate treatment. Usually cases of acute glomerulonephritis caused by strep infection tend to improve on their own 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 also had 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, and in hopes that James would be healed by then.

What is your definition of spiritual care?

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 to not treat James earlier. Had he not enough faith? Was God punishing him or James? To make matters worse, James\’s kidneys had deteriorated such that his dialysis was now not a temporary matter and was in need of a kidney transplant.

Crushed and desperate, Mike and Joanne immediately offered to donate one of their own 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’s nephrologist called to schedule a private appointment with Mike and Joanne. James was stable, given the 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’s brother Samuel.

Mike vacillates 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 around. Perhaps this is where the real testing of his faith will come in? Mike reasons, “This time around it is a matter of life and death. What could require greater faith than that?”

Expert Answer and Explanation


My Definition of Spiritual Care

Spiritual care is individualized care that seeks to respond to the personal needs of the spirit of human beings, especially when they are faced with ill health, trauma, or sadness in their life. In spiritual care, healthcare givers recognize the fact that patients believe in the higher spiritual powers from whom hope, and resolutions may transcend (Cukor & Kozlov, 2020). Healthcare givers who respect the value of spirituality in their patients are likely to encounter better results compared to those who are indifferent in care.

Description of Spiritual Care in the Topic Readings

The topic readings emphasize on the emotional aspect of spiritual care, where healthcare givers are required to give special attention to the emotional needs of their patients. Also, the topic readings emphasize that critically ill patients are the primary ones who encounter spiritual needs (Cukor & Kozlov, 2020). In this case, the spiritual needs analysis is often conducted to reduce suffering.

The primary effect of spiritual care is achieving holistic healing, where all aspects of healthcare are addressed during the care process. Also, it boosts the patient involvement in the treatment operations. In cases of need, nurses should allow patients to have their religious leaders such as priests and pastors to spend time with the patients and the families if it makes them feel better (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). Spiritual care, in such a case, is applied as a means of coping, where the patients and their families are assisted to live positively with the conditions they have.


Cukor, D., & Kozlov, E. (2020). Systematic Psychosocial and Spiritual Needs Assessment and Management. Palliative Care in Nephrology, 178.

Timmins, F., & Caldeira, S. (2017). Assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Nursing Standard (2014+)31(29), 47.



My Strengths and Weaknesses in Facilitating Spiritual Care in Patients with Different Worldviews

One of my primary strengths in facilitating spiritual care is the present of solid communication skills. By communicating the feelings of patients and listening to them keenly, I can be able to provide holistic care on an individual basis. Also, I believe I have the quality of being caring, and I believe this quality helps me to exercise the necessary compassion in providing care to others. Other good qualities I have that help me in boosting spiritual care include self-awareness and the desire to learn, which helps individuals to grow more empathy on the patients (Cukor & Kozlov, 2020). Among some of the weaknesses I have in facilitating spiritual care among patients who have different worldviews is the fact that I often pay attention to detail, which contributes to the inability to fathom most of the patient attitudes and beliefs regarding the different issues.

Bearer of the Final Say in the Event of a Difficult Decision that requires Ethical Decision Making

I believe there should be no rule that emphasizes that either the patient or the healthcare giver should have an upper hand in the final say of the decisions that require much ethical analysis regarding the spirituality of the patient. Proper consideration of the weight of the issue from both sides is what can promote ethical decision making (Timmins & Caldeira, 2017). In situations that are too demanding, however, there is always need to respect the autonomy of the patient, and to make decisions that do not hurt them or their families. Professional advice regarding the issue in question should be given to such patients.


Cukor, D., & Kozlov, E. (2020). Systematic Psychosocial and Spiritual Needs Assessment and Management. Palliative Care in Nephrology, 178.

Timmins, F., & Caldeira, S. (2017). Assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Nursing Standard (2014+)31(29), 47.


Patient’s Spiritual Needs Mike and James Case Analysis


The autonomy of patients helps in the management of decision-making activities, where a physician should always consult to address their preferences regarding some of the critical dilemmas that they face. However, it is necessary for healthcare givers to give equal consideration to the other principles of bioethics that is justice, maleficence, and beneficence, for them to achieve holistic care (Ross & Miles, 2020). This paper discusses a case study in which Mike, a religious man, refuses to perform a kidney dialysis for his son, James on the basis of a touching faith-based healing program, and the state of the kidney deteriorates to requiring a kidney transplant. While it is clear that Mike has a high sense of autonomy over the medical decisions regarding his son, the physician should be quick to help the family avoid making unsure decisions that are based on faith.

The Physician’s Best Input Regarding the Continuation of Mike’s Decisions

A close analysis of the details of the case shows that Mike is incapable of making sound decisions for the patient, and so he should not allow him to continue determining the fate of James. Autonomy allows patients who are of legal age to make their own decisions, and for those who are incapable, because of their failing health or because of being too young, and in the case of James, his parents are the rightful decision makers for him. To allow action that promotes patient autonomy, one of the major conditions is that the patient should be rational about every step of making the decision, and they should efficiently reason the facts that are presented in the case (McSherry et al., 2019). In the case of James, Mike seems to be overwhelmed emotionally, such that he gives too much attention to the spiritual healing and overlooks the need for the physical treatment.

Christian Thinking about Health and Sickness

A core aspect of health and sickness that Christians should understand is the fact that spiritual needs are only one of the elements of care, which can never be complete on its own, and hence have to be complemented with other care aspects. Christians should understand health and sickness in a broader concept, where they should fathom some of the sicknesses as a direct response of the body to the immediate environment where there may be some stress factors such as excess heat, cold, or pressure (Austin et al., 2016). Such a level of understanding would compel Christians to be positive with the interventions that are given in hospitals.

While it is possible that some conditions that exist may be as a result of curses or other spiritual elements, it is not right to rationalize all the diseases as a result of such forces. This is probably one of the reasons why Mike may still be reluctant about embracing interventions that are not directly spiritual for James. Regarding medical interventions, Christians should not use hospitals and churches interchangeably, as each of them have their distinct roles that they play in the healing process of the patient.

As a Christian, Mike should follow the directions given by the healthcare giver, as he is possibly the spiritual agent at the moment, and exercising obedience to him would help in reaching the best medical decisions (Austin et al., 2017). He needs to respect the position that the physician plays in the life of James, and allow the transplant to be done. Mike should also reason that refusing to take action for his son would lead to even worse consequences such as death, and he may end up regretting to be called a murderer for not making the right decision at the moment.

How a Spiritual Needs assessment would be of Help

There are many ways in which a spiritual needs assessment for Mike would help in the determination of suitable interventions in the case. One of the major contributions of this kind of assessment is that I would help the physician to understand the different reasoning or beliefs of the patient in the light of the present illnesses. A physician who has conducted a spiritual needs analysis on a patient is likely to easily eliminate some of the spiritual misconceptions they may be having regarding the faith of Mike. Specifically, one would be in a better position to understand the root causes of the irrational reasoning of the patient, and hence efficiently determine the best interventions for them (Hui et al., 2018). Another value of the spiritual needs analysis is that it would strengthen the ability of Mike to trust the healthcare system, as he would be sure that all his worries are put into consideration in his treatment.


A spiritual needs assessment for the case of Mike would help in eliminating some of the common myths that the healthcare giver may have regarding the faith of the patient, and also improve the patient’s trust of the system. The physician should not allow Mike to make further decisions for James, as this may have worse outcomes. Christians should respect the boundary between healthcare and spirituality, as this would help to limit confusions leading to conflicts among healthcare stakeholders.


Austin, P. D., Macleod, R., Siddall, P. J., McSherry, W., & Egan, R. (2016). The ability of hospital staff to recognise and meet patients’ spiritual needs: a pilot study. Journal for the Study of Spirituality6(1), 20-37.

Austin, P., Macleod, R., Siddall, P., McSherry, W., & Egan, R. (2017). Spiritual care training is needed for clinical and non-clinical staff to manage patients’ spiritual needs. Journal for the Study of Spirituality7(1), 50-63.

Hui, L. I., Wang, C., Yang, L. I., & Kong, T. (2018). Research on the status and influencing factors of spiritual needs of gastrointestinal cancer patients. Chinese Journal of Practical Nursing34(22), 1725-1729.

McSherry, W., Ross, L., Balthip, K., Ross, N., & Young, S. (2019). Spiritual Assessment in Healthcare: An Overview of Comprehensive, Sensitive Approaches to Spiritual Assessment for Use Within the Interdisciplinary Healthcare Team. In Spirituality in Healthcare: Perspectives for Innovative Practice (pp. 39-54). Springer, Cham.

Ross, L., & Miles, J. (2020). Spirituality in heart failure: a review of the literature from 2014 to 2019 to identify spiritual care needs and spiritual interventions. Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care14(1), 9-18.

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