The 7-year old son of African immigrants has a chronic disease. Although the condition is serious, it is easily treated with medications and changes in diet. The family frequently misses scheduled appointments. After six months of treatment, the child shows little improvement, and the American doctors have determined that the family is noncompliant. Translators have attempted to bridge the gap between the doctors and the family, with only limited success. The nurses wonder whether a well qualified social worker could help the situation. The hospital administrators are looking for a social worker with the skills and educational background to help improve the situation.
Issues and Study Questions
- Based on the overview above, what are the issues?
- What beliefs are at issue here?
- Why were the parents “noncompliant?”
- What could the doctors/nurses do differently?
- What do you feel the doctors/admistrators should do here?
- How could a specialized social worker assist in this situation?
- Was religion an issue in this situation?
- What is the responsibility of the health care community in such a situation? What about other professions?
- Do you think there is a “right” and “wrong” way to handle this situation? Why? Why not?
- Have you faced similar issues in your own profession or personal life? If so, what were they? Were they resolved?
- What can be learned?
- Do you think education about religious literacy would have helped/harmed in this situation? How so?
Source: Religion and the Professions (General Honors 1030) taught by Dr. Jill Raitt, University of Missouri