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Applying Four Principles Healing and Autonomy Case Study Worksheeet

Applying Four Principles Healing and Autonomy Case Study Worksheeet


PART 1: CHART – Applying the Four Principles to the Case Study

Principle Definition/Explanation Application to the Case Study
Autonomy Autonomy refers to a person’s right to make their own decisions about their medical care, free from coercion or undue influence. In the case study, the patient, Mr. E, expresses his desire to forgo surgery and pursue alternative treatments based on his religious beliefs. This aligns with the principle of autonomy as he is making an informed decision about his care, despite medical recommendations.
Beneficence Beneficence involves the obligation to act in the best interests of the patient and to promote their well-being. The medical team believes that surgery is in Mr. E’s best interest due to the severity of his condition. They are trying to ensure his well-being by recommending a course of action they consider medically necessary.
Nonmaleficence Nonmaleficence means avoiding harm or minimizing harm to the patient. The medical team is concerned that delaying surgery may harm Mr. E, as his condition may worsen. They believe that not following their recommendation might result in harm, aligning with the principle of nonmaleficence.
Justice Justice involves fairness and equitable distribution of healthcare resources and treatments. There is a tension between Mr. E’s desire to pursue alternative treatments based on his religious beliefs and the medical team’s perspective that surgery is the most justifiable course of action based on their medical expertise. This raises questions about the just distribution of healthcare resources and respect for cultural and religious diversity.

PART 2: EVALUATION – Application of Principalism from a Christian Worldview

In applying the principles of biomedical ethics from a Christian worldview to the case study, we can analyze how each principle aligns with Christian beliefs and values.

  1. Autonomy: From a Christian perspective, autonomy is respected but within the boundaries of moral and ethical guidelines. Christians believe in free will and personal decision-making, but these decisions should align with the moral teachings of the faith. In the case of Mr. E, his autonomy is respected as he seeks alternative treatments based on his religious beliefs. However, healthcare providers should engage in open and empathetic communication to ensure Mr. E is making an informed decision and to explore potential compromises that respect his autonomy while considering medical best practices.
  2. Beneficence: Christian ethics emphasize the concept of doing good and acting in the best interests of others. In Mr. E’s case, the medical team’s recommendation for surgery aligns with the Christian principle of beneficence, as they believe it is in his best interest for health and well-being. The Christian worldview encourages medical professionals to act in a way that promotes healing and alleviates suffering, which supports the recommendation for surgery.
  3. Nonmaleficence: Avoiding harm is a fundamental principle in Christianity, and it extends to the field of healthcare. Delaying necessary surgery could potentially harm Mr. E, and from a Christian perspective, it is important to minimize harm and suffering whenever possible. This aligns with the medical team’s concern about the potential harm caused by not following their recommendation for surgery.
  4. Justice: Christian ethics promote fairness, compassion, and care for the marginalized. In the case study, there is a need to balance the principle of justice with respect for Mr. E’s religious beliefs. Healthcare providers should strive for a just and equitable solution that respects both the medical expertise and the patient’s faith-based preferences. This might involve exploring alternative treatments that are medically sound while accommodating Mr. E’s religious convictions.

In conclusion, when applying the principles of biomedical ethics within a Christian worldview to the case study, it becomes clear that a delicate balance must be struck between respecting the patient’s autonomy and beliefs while also upholding the principles of beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice to ensure the best possible care and outcome for the patient. Open and compassionate communication between the medical team and Mr. E, as well as a consideration of alternative treatment options that align with both medical expertise and religious convictions, can help navigate this complex ethical dilemma.

Applying Four Principles Healing and Autonomy Case Study Worksheeet



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:


This chart will formalize principlism 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.


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.

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