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Based on “Case Study: End of Life Decisions,” the Christian worldview

PHI 413 Case Study on Death and Dying

Based on “Case Study: End of Life Decisions,” the Christian worldview

The Christian worldview advances that life is a precious gift from God given to each human being. Christians also believe that death is a core, universal, and an inevitable outcome of life as all will encounter it as a transition to the eternal life promised by God through Jesus Christ. Therefore, any attempts to end one’s life, irrespective of their level of suffering is morally wrong as only God can make the decision about it (O’Callaghan, 2017). Making a decision like euthanasia because of a having a terminal illness and seeking to end associated suffering is complex and can remain the only option for many people, especially where such procedures are legal. Death and the dying process are challenging aspects of life for everyone, especially those experiencing it and their family members (Bogue & Hogan, 2020). The purpose of this paper is to analyze the case of George, who was recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and contemplates euthanasia to end the suffering associated with the terminal condition. The paper uses a Christian worldview to conduct an ethical analysis of the situation.

Every single one of us, in my view, has value. Humans were created in God’s likeness and are tasked with carrying out God’s plan for the planet. Everything happens for a reason, and I think that God has a purpose for everyone of us, even if we don’t recognize it or comprehend it. Individuals, in my opinion, have the right to make their own decisions. Abortion, in my opinion, may be justified in extreme circumstances, such as when the mother’s life is endangered by pregnancy difficulties or when the pregnancy is the consequence of rape. I believe that when two consenting adults participate in an action that is known to result in pregnancy and that pregnancy occurs, the result should be acknowledged and supported as a matter of principle and duty. My position, on the other hand, cannot supersede an individual’s right to self-determination, therefore I am pro-choice. Because they have an influence on human life, bioethical concerns, abortion, designer babies, and stem cell research are all contentious. The issue is whether these things are good or destructive to God’s creation of human life. I support stem cell research because studies show that this science has the potential to heal or cure a wide range of ailments. When the issue of “designer babies” is discussed in the context of reducing the possibility of birth malformations and disabilities, it looks to be a promising one. On the other side, prospective parents are emotionally and financially committed in this therapy. Because of this investment and medical science’s expanding ability to modify gender and other physical features, we risk enticing people into fantasizing about and attempting to make the “ideal kid”. Therefore, I don’t support” designer babies”.

George’s Interpretation of His Suffering in Light of the Christian Narrative with emphasis on Fallenness of the World

The core aspect of Christian narration consists of creation, fall of man, redemption, and restoration. God created the world with all things and gave man power over all the creation. However, man fell by disobeying what God had commanded him leading to suffering after God pronounced a curse on him. Therefore, Christianity advances that the fallenness of the world due to man’s disobedience is the source of the suffering exists and befalls man today in the world (Swihart et al., 2021). The disobedience of the first human beings; Adam and Eve and their fall from God’s grace has impacted the world in form of disease, death, suffering and more fundamentally, isolating and distancing man from God.

The fall from God’s grace and man’s existence on earth due to that should be the context that George needs to view his suffering.

PHI 413 Case Study on Death and Dying
PHI 413 Case Study on Death and Dying

George needs to understand that the fallenness of the world comes from disobedience to God’s rules and attempts by man to live according without His participation. The case study shows George as a successful attorney and was close to his family. However, the diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating and pushes him to consider euthanasia because of its degenerative nature.

George should interpret his suffering due to ALS as a normal part of human living because of the fallnness of the world emanating from the fall of Adam and Eve (Newbanks et al., 2018). Sin has many negative effects apart of the occurrence of terminal conditions like ALS. George needs to know that suffering provides a chance for one to be close to God as it renews individuals, refines, and matures humanity as also a source of discipline to understand that death is inevitable part of life.

In the Christian narrative, George should understand that what he stands to lose is only short-term. George must interpret his suffering as a form of hope for the resurrection because Jesus, the redeemer of humankind also suffered yet Holy and chosen by God. His suffering means an opportunity to refine his spirit and temper himself so that he gets closer to God (Bogue & Hogan, 2020). George needs to know that God has a plan for all people, irrespective of the suffering now due to the devastating condition. He must understand that he life is equal to others and should find purpose as suffering is not the end of life but a transition to a better future.

George’s Interpretation of Suffering Based on the Christian Narrative of Hope of Resurrection

The Christian narrative with emphasis of hope of resurrection is the perspective that there is a better life after death when all will rise from the dead on the judgment day. God’s redemption plan was the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (O’Callaghan, 2017). Through His death, God can forgive sins and maintain law and justice. The resurrection of Jesus allows man to restore his relationship with God and walk in His glory. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ provide hope of joy, peace and forgiveness of sins. Through the resurrection, man can ascend to God’s glory (Bogue & Hogan, 2020). Therefore, George needs to interpret his suffering as temporary with increased hope of having a better future based on God’s plans.

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George should consider his suffering because of the degenerative condition as part of God’s will and plans. God is testing his faith in Him by setting challenges to make his faith strong so that he can face the future ahead with increased resilience and zeal (Newbanks et al., 2018). George must understand that even if he dies, he will resurrect on the final day if he strengths his faith in God and consider his suffering as part of His plan. ALS is a dilapidating condition that makes one unable to execute most his daily activities. Therefore, the hope of resurrection should drive George’s decisions, especially knowing that there is life death and that even for the remaining days, God can still work miraculously and heal him. George should believe that even in his condition, he can lead a better life and have good health. He should trust the process and pray that God uses the medical team to provide healing for him.

Christian Worldview on the Value of George’s Life as a Person

The Christian worldview is categorical that every human being is created in God’s image based on the concept of Imago Dei. Through this concept, every human being has inherent value and dignity. To be a person, one needs to have a relationship with God and others in the world. Christians believe that the inherent dignity and value of an individual gives them the freedom to worship and decide the kind of life that they want. Christians advance that life is a sacred gift from God and shows the inherent value that one possesses (Swihart et al., 2021). Regardless of their condition like suffering from a terminal disease, George must still consider his life valuable. God is the only one that can determine the end of an individual’s life since he is the giver of life. Individuals, like George, do not lose their inherent value as persons and their life because of diseases and conditions. George’s suffering should not make him opt to end his life because it is a valuable gift from God (Newbanks et al., 2018). He needs to know that suffering and diseases do not make one lose their value as human beings, either before God or man. George needs to understand that suffering is part of everyone’s life because of the Original Sin and the fall of humankind from God’s grace.

Being created in God’s image means that human beings poses a nonphysical nature or reality. Just because he has been diagnosed with ALS, George does not lose his value as a human being but has equal worth to every other human person and should not feel inferior. He must proceed with his duties and obligations as husband, father, brother, and child to his family for the time he is live as it will demonstrate that he has not lost his value as a person due to the degenerative ALS.

Values & Considerations based on Christian Worldview in Considering Euthanasia for George

George is considering euthanasia as a means to an end, to terminate his life because of the ALS diagnosis. However, the Christian worldview has a number of considerations and values that George should be aware of try to follow to validate his decision (Christman & Mueller, 2018). The Christian worldview is categorical that life is a sacred gift from God and no one can terminate it, unless the giver. Life should also be treated with the greatest level of value and has a meaning and purpose. God creates each individual with a purpose. Therefore, in spite of his condition, George must value the gift of life and make a host of considerations based on the Christian worldview (O’Callaghan, 2017). George must consider the value for life and understand that it is a gift from God and no one should take it away.

Secondly, the Christian worldview prohibits euthanasia as it considered a form of murder. George must realize that individual independence is a misconception as all belong to God who allows them to have freedom, and are all bound by set moralities. These values and considerations are essential in understanding the difference between right and wrong when one faces dilemma situations.

George must also consider that God intends humans to die as part of his plan of redemption and restoration. While the natural predisposition is one to love thyself, George must understand that God’s law requires self-sacrifice and supplication to Him in all things (Stahl & Kilner, 2019). Euthanasia does not provide a proof of better times because he will endure the suffering even in death based on the Christian teachings about the judgment day. These are some of the values and considerations that George should focus on as he thinks his decision.

Morally Justified Options for George Based on the Christian Worldview

The Christian worldview’s narrative focuses on the need for restoration through Jesus’s redemption. Suffering and diseases are part of human life due to the fallenness of the world. However, Man gets hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christian worldview emphasizes that suffering, diseases, and difficult conditions are part of human life and all should endure because through them, God strengthens one’s faith. Based on his condition, the morally justified option according to the Christian worldview is for George to endure his suffering and the devastating effects of the terminal condition with the hope of life after death (O’Callaghan, 2017). George should not opt for euthanasia but consider his life as God’s gift and take medical advice on pain management to alleviate increased levels of pain and discomfort.

Secondly, George must consider his position as a father and husband and understand that he has the inspiration to fight on despite the devastating and detrimental condition of ALs. George should appreciate that God loves him and can offer miracle healing if he believes in God and understands that he uses physicians to provide healing (Christman & Mueller, 2018). Faith comes by trusting God’s word and doing his will. No one wishes to bring afflictions to themselves but it’s God will to allow the devil to bring suffering. Therefore, George must consider all these options and make the right decision to address his condition.

My Worldview and Decision

George’s case is a complex one and implores one to consider a host of issues and values in their decision making. The case shows that having a chronic condition presents one with dilemmas where they need to consider a host of aspects and their worldviews (Stahl & Kilner, 2019). My worldview is Christianity and I subscribe to its teaching about the value of life and morality. Being in George’s situation is challenging but requires one to take a decisive step on the way forward. Based on my worldview, I would not opt for euthanasia but consider palliative care as a means of relieving pain and ensuring that strengthen my faith despite the condition. I would live and experience the devastating nature of ALS as a testimony that suffering allows one to be strong and have a closer relationship with God.

Conclusion

The case study shows that healthcare providers like nurses should understand different worldviews as they interact with diverse patient who possess a host of perspectives. The Christian worldview is categorical that life is a valuable gift from God and no one has the right to take it away, including their own. Christianity believes that disease conditions like terminal illnesses are part of life and constitute suffering as part of God’s plan to redeem and restore him based on His plan. The case shows that euthanasia is not a morally justified options for individuals; either Christian believers or not because it negates the core aspect of man being created in God’s image.

References

Bogue, D. and Hogan, M. (2020). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and

Decision Making in Health Care. <https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/1

Christman, S. & Mueller, J. (2018). Understanding Spiritual Care. Journal of Christian Nursing,

34(1), pp. E1-E7. DOI: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000350.

Newbanks, R., Rieg, L. and Schaefer, B., (2018). What Is Caring in Nursing? Journal of

            Christian Nursing, 35(3), pp.160-167. doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000441.

O’Callaghan, P. (2017). Cultural challenges to faith: a reflection on the dynamics of modernity.

Church, Communication and Culture, 2(1), 25–40.

DOI: 10.1080/23753234.2017.1287281

Stahl, D. & Kilner, J. (2019). The Image of God, Bioethics, and Persons with Profound

            Intellectual Disabilities. [online] Journal.joniandfriends.org.

Swihart, D. L., Yarrarapu, N. S. & Martin, R. L. (2021). Cultural Religious Competence In

Clinical Practice. StatPearls (Internet). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493216/

Nurses and healthcare workers need to understand different components of various religions in the world and their practices as well as their effects on patients in their healthcare settings. The Christian worldview is an essential perspective that has diverse values, norms and beliefs which influence decisions among patients on the kind of interventions that they select for their disease conditions. terminal conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis present delicate situations leading to contemplation of decisions and interventions that can have lifelong effects on individuals, their families and even society. In this assignment, the paper focuses on the case of George, a 50-year-old attorney recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and contemplates euthanasia to alleviate the worse conditions and symptoms of the disease in its later stages. The paper uses a Christian worldview to understand how Christians would handle such a situation and what George ought to do based on these teachings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case Study on Death and Dying

Healthcare workers (HCWs) especially nurses, need to understand the different approaches by diverse religious practices and beliefs as patients use them when undergoing care, particularly in end of life decisions when diagnosed with terminal illnesses like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) condition. Spirituality and religion inform the type of decisions and approaches that patients can take when diagnosed with these conditions (Hammer & McPhee, 2018). Imperatively, nurses and other healthcare workers should be aware of the beliefs and practices to help patients deal with their diagnoses. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the case of George, a successful attorney recently diagnosed with ALS, a degenerative disease that leads to failure of the entire nerve system and incapacitates a person. The analysis discusses the case in relation to Christian biblical accounts of fallenness of the world, hope of resurrection and value of his life as a person. The analysis also incorporates the concept of euthanasia and a personal reflection over the case.

Interpretation of Suffering in Light of Christian Narrative on the Fallenness of the World

The biblical narrative account entails four aspects that include creation, fall of mankind because of the original sin’s commission, hope of resurrection and redemption through Jesus Christ. The Christian narrative asserts that man committed the Original Sin leading to his fall in Garden of Eden. Fallenness happened because of man’s disobedience and is responsible for the evil and suffering that occur in the world. God pronounced suffering that entails short lifespan and encounter with different disease conditions like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that George has been diagnosed with in this case. (Hammer & McPhee, 2018). Suffering came to the world to demonstrate to man that God controls all aspects of his life and he should submit to him. George should interpret his suffering based on the biblical account as man is bound to endure difficult moments due to his disobedience. Fallnness of the world entails George understanding that the world is full of suffering and evil, and that human beings face these afflictions due to natural causes as well as a chance to allow God to manifest in their suffering.

George needs to interpret the present situation as a result of the man’s fall from favor with God as disease conditions are part of his living. George should consider the condition as a sign that worldly wealth and success does not equate to God’s plan for any individual. Therefore, Christians believe that suffering strengths one’s faith and manifests God’s immense care and concern for humanity (Kurtén, 2018). George should view his condition as not unique but a chance to get close to God and accept his power while appreciating that he can do very little. George may perceive his suffering as a form of punishment from God for sins committed, either by him or his family and seek redemption through penance to get God’s grace and mercy.

Interpretation of Suffering with Emphasis on the Hope of Resurrection

Based on the Christian narrative, Jesus Christ’s death and subsequent rise through resurrection means that man shall overcome difficulties and challenges, including death, as He did. Christians believe that suffering is a critical component of life and demonstrates one’s resolve to remain faithful despite their situation. George’s suffering due to ALS illustrates the many incidences where different people have suffered, even in the bible like Abraham and Job as well as Jesus Christ, the son of God. Therefore, Christians perceive suffering as a way of attaining God’s glory and blessing like the biblical persons such as Job who suffered from a dreaded skin disease to the point of losing everything in life (Vasylieva et al., 2021). Christians consider suffering as a moment for one to raise their hope and faith in God. Christians also advance that suffering ensures that they deepen their faith and focus on God to help them overcome such events in life (Liégeois, 2022). As such, George should hope for the day when God will deliver him from the current situation. George should not tire away from hoping that despite its delicate and degenerative nature, ALS can be defeated and offer him a chance to lead a quality life.

Moreover, George needs to hope for resurrection, even if he dies due to the condition. Consequently, the hope of resurrection implores George to wait upon God to determine if he dies or recovers from the illness. Christians believe that hope is a certainty and not a wish and thus it is just a matter of time before its fulfilment (Kurtén, 2018). Through hope, believers endure trials and temptations and emerge victorious at their last point. Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead after suffering at the hands of evil people. Therefore, George should know that God allows people to suffer, not because He has forsaken them but because he believes that they will triumph after their tribulations. George should perceive his current condition as a pathway to death and eventually bodily resurrection in the same manner as Christ suffered. He should hope for a better future despite the current suffering as it is only but temporary.  

Christian Worldview about the Value of Life as a Person

The Christian worldview is categorical that life is a sacred gift from God and that it should be cherished by all people irrespective of their life conditions. The Christian worldview advances that God gives life and it begins at conception. God created human beings in his image based on the concept of Imago Dei and all should consider themselves as resembling him, irrespective of their socioeconomic backgrounds. People should value their inherent dignity and intrinsic worth despite their prevailing conditions. In this case, despite having the ALS and with limited time for his life, George should value his life as a person because it is a sacred and precious gift from God (Vasylieva et al., 2021). He should always remember that his life, even when he will be incapacitated, is sacred and only God can determine his fate. George should endure the pain of his condition and never contemplate taking drastic actions like euthanasia, which he is actively contemplating to avoid any degenerative situation that will require him to get assistance in doing all things.

George must consider his inherent dignity as a human being with intrinsic value for his life. Ge needs to understand that God has a purpose for him. His decisions and choices should be based on the inherent purpose that God wants for his life. George must not think of euthanasia as a means to an end to reduce and prevent his suffering. The Christian worldview is categorical that suffering is an involuntary aspect of one’s life and one cannot avoid or prevent it but only endure its occurrence (Grove et al., 2022). Christians view suffering as God’s intention on humanity because of their sins and as a means to manifest his wonders to people (Liégeois, 2022). Therefore, George should consider his life as valuable and suffering as a just aspect that God uses to enhance his endurance and showing of miracles. The suffering that he faces today is a test of his faith that will allow him to overcome difficulties and fulfill God’s purpose for his life. George should seek care approaches that will improve his quality of life instead of contemplating euthanasia as it is against God’s purpose and intention of human life. Such holistic care approaches will allow him to maximize his current condition and provide hope to his family for the limited time he is left with in the world.

Values and Considerations Based on Christian Worldview in Contemplation of Euthanasia

Different Christian values inform healthcare practices associated with end-of-life care offered to individuals like George based on his condition. These include dignity, love, compassion, and caring. Dignity advances that human beings have inherent intrinsic value because they are created in God’s image and deserve honor and respectful treatment as well as care. Dignity gives value to human life yet euthanasia does not consider since it advances that life is not worthy living when one has a dreaded condition. Based on scientific view and cognitive properties theory, George may feel that he is not worth living in this world because of his condition (Vasylieva et al., 2021). Ethical nursing practice upholds dignity as a critical value based on the professional code of conduct by the American Nurses Association (ANA). Nurses should offer care to George by considering his dignity and allow him to make decisions that are logic and not irrational. An appropriate approach for George would entail provision of comfort and encouragement through palliative care to improve his quality of life.

Additionally, George should consider the values of love and compassion. Compassion is a critical emotional aspect which focuses on making patients endure their suffering by providing hope and relieving their pain and anguish (Liégeois, 2022). This entails being kind, caring and helpful to allow them navigate the pain and hopelessness associated with disease conditions. In this case, George should focus on getting medications to relieve the effects of ALS and care focused on improving his life as he awaits any eventuality. Euthanasia does not show any compassion and robs one of the ability to attain recovery in such situations (Borovecki et al., 2022). While it may eliminate suffering, it does not show love as the family fails to get the chance to be with their loved one to the last moment. The Christian worldview considers euthanasia as murder which the Ten Commandments forbid because it is against the value of love. George should consider how he can get compassionate care and spend the remaining time with his young family as a sign of his love for them. He should never contemplate euthanasia.

Morally Justified Options Based on the Christian Worldview for George

Christians endure suffering as a testimony of what Jesus went through before attaining victory in his life. Christians believe that encountering suffering is an involuntary part of life and individuals should be willing to do so because such actions form the basis for strong faith in God (Kurtén, 2018). Therefore, the morally justified options for George include enduring the suffering, seeking sufficient guidelines from healthcare providers, and getting palliative care as opposed to giving in to euthanasia.

George should know that his suffering is God-given and there is a reason for it. He needs to know that ending his life through euthanasia is an unacceptable thing before God and it is murder. Moral uprightness values the dignity of an individual irrespective of their situation and physical fitness (Grove et al., 2022). George should seek holistic care and submit to available medical interventions, especially palliative care to improve his quality of life through relieving the pain and suffering that he has now. George should consider compassionate holistic care so that he can improve his condition before his demise. He should pray and engage religious counsel from different people and live positively with his condition as opposed to euthanasia.

Decision if in George’s Situation

George’s situation is not only devastating but also harrowing and delicate. While the ALS diagnosis is terminal and degenerative, one can improve their quality of life and even live beyond the projected timelines. The most important thing is for one to have a positive attitude and approach to the disease. However, this is not easy, especially in a situation where one loses their independence and abilities to do things for themselves. Conversely, it is a psychological and physical challenge that requires increased support and comfort before one can make up their mind and final determination (Grove et al., 2022). In this case, if I were in his situation, I would opt for palliative and compassionate care with the hope that my condition will improve. One can live with ALS even beyond the predicted timelines based on their positive attitudes. The implication is that ALS should not be a death sentence for individuals like George to contemplate suicide. He should have hope and offer even the last moments of his life to his family instead of thinking about ending his life.

Conclusion

The Christian worldview influence the view of Christians towards different issues, including terminal conditions and even aspects like euthanasia. God is all powerful and gives sacred and precious life to human beings. However, disease conditions happen and impact Christians and individuals’ beliefs in God’s power. The implication is that George, like Christians should endure his suffering knowing that there is hope of resurrection and triumph, even if he dies. He should not contemplate euthanasia as it violates God’s purpose and reasons for his existence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Borovecki, A., Curkovic, M., Nikodem, K., Oreskovic, S., Novak, M., Rubic, F., … & Gastmans,

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Grove, G., Lovell, M., & Best, M. (2022). Perspectives of major world religions regarding

euthanasia and assisted suicide: a comparative analysis. Journal of religion and health, 1-25. DOI:10.1007/s10943-022-01498-5

Hammer, D.G., & McPhee, S.J. (Eds). (2018). Pathophysiology of disease: An introduction to

            clinical medicine, 8th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Kurtén, T. (2018). Euthanasia: Does eschatology matter? In Eschatology as Imagining the End

(pp. 61-87). Routledge.

Liégeois, A. (2022). Euthanasia in Mental Suffering—Overview and Discussion of the

Arguments of the Roman Catholic Church. Religions, 13(8), 684. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13080684

Vasylieva, I., Hololobova, K., Nechushkina, O., Kobrzhytskyi, V., Kiriienko, S., & Laputko, A.

(2021). Attitudes of medical students towards artificial termination of pregnancy and euthanasia in the context of Christian ethics. Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe, 41(1), 8. https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol41/iss1/8