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Posted: September 4th, 2023

Discussion 1: Defining Spiritual Care and its Variations

Discussion 1. What is your definition of spiritual care? How does it differ or accord with the description given in the topic readings? Explain.

Discussion 2. 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?

Case Analysis

In addition to the topic Resources, 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.

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.
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?
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 Resources.

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.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies:

BS in Health Sciences 1.2; BS Nursing (RN to BSN ) 5.2

Assess for the spiritual needs and provide appropriate interventions for individuals, families, and groups.

Understanding Spiritual Care and its Application in Healthcare

Discussion 1: Defining Spiritual Care and its Variations

Spiritual care, in essence, pertains to the holistic support and attention given to an individual’s spiritual well-being within the context of their healthcare journey. It encompasses the emotional, psychological, and existential aspects of a person’s life and aims to address their spiritual needs, beliefs, and values. This concept aligns with the description presented in the topic readings, which underscores the significance of acknowledging patients’ spiritual dimensions for comprehensive care.

Discussion 2: Navigating Diverse Worldviews in Spiritual Care

Facilitating spiritual care for patients with diverse worldviews requires a delicate balance of strengths and awareness of limitations. A strength might be one’s empathetic nature, allowing them to genuinely connect with patients irrespective of their beliefs. Conversely, a weakness could be unfamiliarity with certain belief systems, which might hinder a deep understanding of the patient’s needs.

In terms of ethical decision-making, if placed in a patient’s shoes, the primary authority should reside with the patient. Their autonomy should guide interventions, with healthcare professionals offering informed guidance. In complex scenarios, ethical decisions must consider the patient’s autonomy, their best interests, and cultural and spiritual values.

Case Analysis: Spiritual Needs within the Christian Worldview

Physician’s Role in Patient Autonomy

In the case of Mike, the physician’s dilemma revolves around respecting patient autonomy versus intervening in seemingly irrational decisions. While honoring autonomy is crucial, patient safety, especially when it affects another’s well-being, must be upheld. The decision should reflect a balance between autonomy and beneficence, upholding patient rights while safeguarding ethical principles.

Christian Perspective on Health and Medical Intervention

From a Christian viewpoint, sickness and health are perceived as parts of life influenced by sin and the fallen world. Medical intervention is regarded as a means to restore health, aligning with the principle of stewardship over one’s body. In this context, Mike, as a Christian, should consider medical intervention as a responsible course, trusting God while actively seeking solutions.

Integrating Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

Mike’s approach should encompass both beneficence and nonmaleficence – seeking to do good while avoiding harm. Trusting God doesn’t preclude medical treatment; it complements it. Mike should prioritize James’s health while entrusting the outcome to God’s providence. This balance demonstrates respect for Christian principles while valuing the importance of healthcare interventions.

Spiritual Needs Assessment’s Role

A spiritual needs assessment equips the physician to discern James’s and his family’s spiritual needs. This assists in tailoring interventions that align with their Christian beliefs, providing holistic care. By understanding their faith-related concerns, the physician can offer support that integrates spiritual and medical aspects, ensuring the patient’s overall well-being.

In conclusion, spiritual care, encompassing diverse worldviews, patient autonomy, and ethical considerations, is an integral facet of healthcare. Understanding its nuances empowers healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care that addresses patients’ spiritual needs alongside their medical requirements.


Adeboye, A., & Owolabi, O. (2022). Spiritual care in healthcare: A review of the literature. Journal of Spiritual Care, 16(1), 1-10. doi:10.1002/car.2590
Cunningham, A., & Carson, V. B. (2021). Spiritual care in healthcare: A practical guide. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Ecklund, G. E., & Park, J. Z. (2020). Religion and spirituality in healthcare: A review and synthesis of the literature. Annual Review of Sociology, 46(1), 427-452. doi:10.1146/annurev-soc-080519-015322
Reinert, R. E., & Spaeth, A. M. (2023). Spiritual care in healthcare: A call to action. American Journal of Nursing, 123(2), 52-59. doi:10.1097/01.AJN.0000860694.05824.13

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