The Role Of Spirituality In Medical Education Free Essay

Healing and Autonomy

Spirituality practice in healthcare has been a controversial topic over the last decade. Spirituality and health are increasingly becoming a topic of discussion in healthcare and medical schools and provide more insight into combining them. More healthcare facilities offer spiritual support to patients as an extension of compassion and comfort to their clients. Healthcare sectors allow social and religious support to their patients while also providing a medical perspective. Medical ethics in healthcare practitioners aim to save lives and improve patients’ quality of life; the code of ethics guides healthcare professionals on managing patients. The primary requirements needed are knowledge of all viable options, risks, and consequences of each option, and informed insight to choose the best option.

Patient’s Autonomy in Spiritual Needs

Principles of medical ethics state that patient autonomy allows patients to accept or decline the recommended treatment. Medical practitioners, such as nurses, doctors, caregivers, or physicians, must guide patients on the best options while allowing patient autonomy. The focus of patient autonomy calls for informed consent of patients before any treatment. The attending physician’s role in Mike’s case is to provide patient autonomy and respect, in line with medical ethics (Tilburt et al., 2020). Medical ethics also state that medical practitioners should not intentionally cause or harm the patient in the principle of nonmaleficence, either through commission or through omission.

Parents need to make an informed decision for their children until they grow up; James’ parents ignored the physicians’ recommendations and chose to place his faith in God. Under James’ health situation and the physician’s knowledge of possible health consequences, it was medically unethical to allow Mike and Joanne to seek other alternatives such as healing services. The physician should have clearly elaborated the risks of acute glomerulonephritis on James’ health and why dialysis is the preferable option while respectably conducting his medical responsibilities. Medical professionals must improve patients’ health situations irrespective of the circumstances and provide professional opinion and treatment options. In James’ case, dialysis would have been a superior option, and a kidney transplant would have been evitable and prevented current medical challenges.

Honoring the Principles of Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

Christian’s perception of sickness and health should be viewed as a test of faith during disease. Suffering has been mentioned repeatedly in the Bible to signify that Christians should cement and strengthen their relationship with God through suffering. Christian’s understanding of sickness and health is viewed as a gift, promoting peace for human continuity. In medical interventions, Christians need to differentiate between science and religion without disregarding the latter (Nahardani et al., 2019). God created humans and provided people with the intellectual capability to solve medical challenges and discover a cure for known diseases. Medical interventions and spirituality need to coexist when treating sickness by letting medical professionals perform their duty of saving lives and improving individuals’ overall health while still relying on prayers and fasting to heal.

In this case study, it is the reliance on Christ, even when facing the reality of illness and death. In this case, Mike, as a Christian, should learn how to place his faith in medical professionals and God without losing hope. Diseases destroy the illusion and confidence that Christians are in control, lowering the faith of spiritual people. Christians should learn how to live out of control. Mike should continue trusting and having faith in God and medicine that his son will be healed. James’ father is a staunch Christian who believes in God; he should trust God to provide the necessary solutions to heal his son, James. Mike should critically analyze the information provided to him by the physician and understand the consequences of denying treatment to his son. James’ parents should consider that medical personnel could alleviate his son James’s health to a better state and prevent future health deterioration.

Healing service is an act of faith that has not been scientifically proven. In ethics, beneficence principles describe the balance between benefits and risks of accepting or declining treatment, whereas nonmaleficence expounds on avoiding harm to people. Mike can place the same faith into the medical intervention suggested by the physician to improve James’s health while also practicing prayer and trusting God for healing. In this case, temporary dialysis would have significantly enhanced James’ health and prevented advanced damage to his health. The delay of treatment caused further harm to James’ and Samuels’ health, which went against the principles of beneficence and nonmaleficence.

Spiritual Needs Assessment

Kidney transplant incurred further financial costs on the family due to the father’s negligence and poor decision-making skills. Mike should have consulted the family and James on how to proceed before exploring the faith healing service. The success of dialysis would have improved his son’s health instead of one friend regaining mobility after suffering a stroke. However, a kidney transplant is a tried and tested method that can be used to improve James’ deteriorated life through a kidney transplant donated by Samuel. Recently, physicians have assessed the spiritual needs to determine an appropriate intervention for James and his family (Austin et al., 2017). Spirituality plays an impactful role in a patient’s decision-making process and a coping mechanism when selecting the various medical interventions suggested by physicians. Engaging in Mike’s religious beliefs, the physician would have understood their belief system, anticipated the reaction, and provided spiritual support to patients to extend compassion and comfort.

In conclusion, healing and autonomy require an in-depth understanding of patients’ spiritual needs and medical professionals. The physician believed that James needed urgent medical attention before his condition worsened. Mike thought that his son’s condition would improve through prayer and faith, and the consequences would be avoidable. On the one hand, Christianity and science are a controversial topic that needs to be addressed in medical schools to deal with patients and their beliefs. On the other hand, Christians should practice their faith and seek medical intervention while still praying.


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 Spirituality, 7(1), 50-63.

Nahardani, S. Z., Ahmadi, F., Bigdeli, S., & Arabshahi, K. S. (2019). Spirituality in medical education: A concept analysis. Medicine, Health Care, and Philosophy, 22(2), 179-189. 

Tilburt, J., Pacyna, J., & Rusthoven, J. (2020). Christian integrity regained: Reformational worldview engagement for everyday medical practice. Christian bioethics: Non-Ecumenical Studies in Medical Morality, 26(2), 163-176. 

Organizational Development And Change: Personal Practice

Appreciative inquiry is one of the organizational development approaches and change that emphasizes focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses. It deals with a team or, basically, the organization’s workforce by a comprehensive search of the best in an individual and the relevant skills and training they have in its line of work functions (Whitney & Trosten-Bloom, 2010). It lays concern on the effectiveness of asking questions that boost the firm’s capacity to expand on a positive note (Lewis et al., 2016). Appreciative inquiry is presented in the form of four processes, namely: discovering, dreaming, design, and destiny. The purpose of this essay is to reflect on an organization that I have previously worked with by identifying the positive and negative things that took place in the functioning of the team.

The team’s key positive aspects included good communication style, efficiency in performing duties, effective delegation of duties, and support during a deficit of working ideas. The positive moment that I remember regarding the team’s perfect functioning is when the company received over 300 bookings for conference and workshop facilities (Godwin 2017). When the bookings were confirmed, the material day was characterized by a busy schedule as many people were expected to take on many tasks. During the conference, the colleagues coordinated well by assisting the guests with basic guidelines concerning the event.

Some of the perfect activities that were successfully performed included: showing guests the seminar rooms, assisting the guests connect to WIFI, guiding them towards meal points, and registering them under the sheet provided by the company (Hung et al., 2018). The story could work in appreciative inquiry as management could inquire about the observed strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it is relevant as the shortcomings can be highlighted hence getting mitigating measures for improvement.

The effectiveness of this team’s performance is measured by comparing the team’s results with the organization’s goals and measuring individual contributions to the team. Additionally, it can be assessed by monitoring the reaction that clients have towards the team’s services. Traditional organizational development could not identify the team’s problems because it did not involve the entire organization, unlike appreciative inquiry that dug deeper into the general organizational functions (Zemke, 1999). It could not effectively give remedies on how the team could improve due to the shortage of information and knowledge for the split organizational elements.

Overall, appreciative inquiry would be better for this team because it looks at both situations. The fact that the team offered perfect services to guests, the approach would also combine the negative side of the team and come out with the best way to improve the company’s functions (Whitney & Trosten-Bloom, 2010). If the team was to hire a consultant, the best approach would be an appreciative inquiry. To add to the reason why the approach is the best option, it uses the reality of the organization through subjective organization and with the team by looking collectively at the group.

Appreciative inquiry is a modern organizational development change that many companies use to solve existing problems. The unique feature of the approach is that it weighs both negatives and positives of a team and comes up with the best solution to the companies’ problems. It involves collective inquiry of all levels of the organization by including the specific group of people who belong to any team. Modern firms are recommended to apply appreciative inquiry as it can make great changes for the benefit of the organization hence conforming to current trends in organization development.


Hung, L., Phinney, A., Chaudhury, H., Rodney, P., Tabamo, J., & Bohl, D. (2018). Appreciative inquiry: Bridging research and practice in a hospital setting. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17(1).

Lewis, S., Passmore, J., & Cantore, S. (2016). Appreciative inquiry for change management (2st ed., pp. 55-72). Kogan Page.

Godwin, L., & Cooperrider, D. (2017). Appreciative Inquiry. Practicing organization development, 96-116. Web.

Whitney, D., & Trosten-Bloom, A. (2010). The power of appreciative inquiry (1st ed., pp. 15-30). Berrett-Koehler.

Zemke, R. (1999). Don’t fix that company! Training, 36(6), 26-33.

Neurogenesis And Physical Activity

The article under analysis published in 2017 is entitled “For your brain’s sake, keep moving.” This article is closely related to the Nervous system and neurons topic as it dwells upon the way physical activity can influence neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process of the creation of new brain cells, which is critical for all mammals, including humans. Reynolds (2017) reports the results of several studies that involved laboratory mice whose neurogenesis was measured. It was found that physically active mice were allowed to run on the running wheel in their cages, producing more new neurons with longer dendrites, as compared to inactive mice. The author stresses that this process was more apparent in the brain zone responsible for memory (Reynolds, 2017). The value of the reported study was its focus on the quality of new neurons as older studies had shown that physical activity led to the production of more neurons.

The article provides insights into the way the nervous systems of mammals develop throughout their life and the factors affecting this process. Importantly, the author adds that researchers admit that they are still unaware of the effects of this enhanced neurogenesis in mice (Reynolds, 2017). They do not know whether new neurons improve animals’ memory or the way they think. It is also emphasized that the laboratory experiments were conducted on mice, so it is early to state that the same processes take place in people’s brains. However, it is added that some studies involving people have been conducted, and they suggest that physical activity improves people’s brain activity and reduces the risk of developing dementia. The article ends with the statement that physical activity improves people’s health. Hence, to remain healthy (physically and mentally), it is essential to be physically active.


Reynolds, G. (2017). For your brain’s sake, keep moving. The New York Times. Web.

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