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PHI-413V Case Study on Death and Dying

PHI-413V Case Study on Death and Dying

PHI-413V Case Study on Death and Dying

Contemplation of death and dying is difficult situation for many individuals, especially for those afflicted by terminal conditions. Again, the same aspect affects those unprepared, unsettled and imbalanced perspective of death. For instance, when one becomes aware of their condition, serious concerns arise as they contemplate how the illness will make them vulnerable and effectively dependent on others (Boheng, 2020). some may perceive a future full of misery while other may consider committing resources to treatment as inconsequential because of limited chances of survival. The Christian worldview on death and concepts like euthanasia are based on biblical interpretation of God’s teachings and human purpose. While terminal illnesses make one hopeless, Christian teachings implores individuals to have hope despite their suffering and shun ideas like suicide or euthanasia (Wallace eta al., 2019). The purpose of this case study paper is to offer an ethical analysis of George’s situation and his decisions based on the Christian worldview because of his diagnosis with a terminal illness.

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”.

Interpretation of His Suffering through Christian Narrative with emphasis on Fallenness of the World

Diagnosed recently with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), George is in anguish, pain and psychological imbalance about his life and condition in the coming days since the condition is degenerative and will make him dependent on those around him for everything. The fallenness of the world denotes to the departure of mankind from righteousness and harmony with his creator, God. It also indicates the effects of sin and teaching on disobedience (Boheng, 2020). Because of man’s fall, sin, suffering and pain came into the world. Man disobeyed God leading to the pronouncement of death and it came to all men for all have sinned (Romans 5:12-19). Further, sickness and suffering are effects of man’s fallenness from God’s glory. Therefore, George should interpret his suffering and pain as part of human experience due to fallenness from God’s glory as a result of man’s disobedience. George must understand that man is due to suffer from illnesses, diseases and even death due to sin and should not despair. The teaching of faith shows that God gives life and He can take it away. George need to know that despite his suffering, God has a plan and his life is equal to any other (Boheng, 2020). He must find his purpose in the world despite his terminal condition and not contemplate euthanasia as that will exacerbate his sinfulness.

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

The Christian view on hope of resurrection advances that God through his son, Jesus Christ can forgive sins. God’s plan was to save humanity through the redemption of Jesus Christ who died and resurrected. Therefore, Christ died so that God could forgive man his sins and maintain law and justice as required by Him. The resurrection of Jesus allows man to restore his relationship with God and be in His glory (John 14:19; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Jesus Christ died and resurrected to offer hope of peace, forgiven and redemption and joy for the mistakes and sin and offer a way for man to attain God’s glory. The hope of resurrection is that man shall live peacefully through redemption and ensure that God’s plan succeeds.

From this perspective, George should view his illness as part of God’s plan and will. That through one’s suffering and pain, they get

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

closer to him and understand His mission for humankind. God tests man’s faith through setting challenges to strengthen their one’s faith so that they can have the strength and will to face life and its uncertainties. George’s contemplation of euthanasia implies that he does not have any hope of resurrection as promised by God that though one may lose their physical bodies due to disease and other conditions, they should not despair but hope in the resurrection through Christ (Wallace et al., 2018) Imperatively, George should consider his situation as an opportunity to strengthen his hope in God. George needs to know that even if he succumbs to ALS, he has the hope of resurrection and live again after the second coming of Jesus. These aspects should help him to evaluate his life, repent, and believe that God has forgiven him and his suffering will end because of the hope of resurrection after death.

Christian Worldview Informing His View on Value of His Life as a Person

Christians believe that life is a precious gift from God and irrespective one’s condition, including a terminal illness like George’s, it should not be taken away and only the giver can do so in natural ways. Christian view life as a sacred and which should be protected and treated with respect and dignity. The entire human being owes their existence to God and this makes one to be unique with a meaning and purpose in life. Through these aspects, life gets values, and purpose (Boheng, 2020). Further, life as God’s gift allows one to attain intrinsic value and dignity that is inherent to human nature, cultivate moral virtues through knowledge acquisition and experiences.

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The misconception of personal independence is that all individuals are bound by moralities. However, morality is an internal aspect given by God to help individuals make better decisions, understand wrong and right and handle ethical dilemma like the decision on euthanasia (Hesslein, 2019). Consequently, no man has the right to take the life from another person or themselves. These perspectives concerning the value of life apply to George’s dilemma. Euthanasia conflicts with and diverges from the belief that God is the creator and He alone can determine when to end a life. George may have several questions to consider before making a life ending decision and through his internal debate, he will realize that his life is valued and he should not take it away. George should continue to bear his pain and suffering as a way of respecting the value of life and the Christian position and teachings that life is God’s precious gift to human beings and humans have intrinsic value.

Values and Considerations on Whether or Not George Should Opt for Euthanasia

George has considered euthanasia as a means to an end and wants to end his life to avoid the suffering and pain accompanied by his disease condition. The Christian worldview is categorical that life is sacred and should be treated with heightened value in a meaningful and purposeful manner. Consequently, George should consider different aspects before determining whether he should opt for euthanasia and if such a decision is valid. The Christian worldview is categorical that euthanasia should never be an option. Individuals should realize that personal independence is a misconception since we belong to God and he allows us to have freedom (Hesslein, 2019). However, these freedom is guided by moralities and they help individuals make the right decisions when faced with dilemma. Christian worldview as depicted from biblical scriptures like in Romans 8:9 assert that we are not our own as we belong to Christ and the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Opting for euthanasia is a stark contradiction of these teaching since it does not protect but helps one in killing the life that humans should preserve by all means for God’s glory and purpose.

The second consideration is dying before God’s intended time or course. The natural disposition is for an individual to love themselves. By opting for euthanasia, George will not only reduce the chance of entering a new world but also cut his bonds of unity with God. The implication is that George should rethink his decision and ensure that despite the harsh reality, he does not contemplate euthanasia. Christians believe that viewing one’s life and sickness as God’s working is essential and gives the hope of life after death. Therefore, George must consider and value these aspects as essential before making the determination to have assisted suicide to end his pain and suffering.

Morally Justified Options in the Christian Worldview for George and Reasons

Individuals consider euthanasia due to fear of what’s to come. One empathizes with individuals in such situations since terminal illnesses take a toll on the patients and their families. However, putting one’s trust in God and his promises helps in reducing the burden associated with the agony and potential pain that one would be going through as the disease leads to deterioration of quality of life like in the case of George (Fortuin et al., 2019). The ALS diagnosis presents challenges but God gives individuals the strength and ability to handle any crises and challenges. The morally justified choices from a Christian worldview is for George to continue hoping and placing his trust in God (Choundry et al., 2018). He should not contemplate suicide but seek ways to lead quality life through help from family and sharing his tribulations.

George needs to understand that death through euthanasia may lead to traumatic experiences for the family and depression. George should strength his faith and seek interventions with hope that the providers and family will support him to get better. He must take necessary personal initiatives based on advice and recommendations from the healthcare team. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a degenerative and incurable condition (Wallace et al., 2018). Therefore, he must maintain his normal activities with the family and show them live like before so that he maintains his quality of life. These approaches will help him to live better and have hope in life despite his condition.

Considerations and Decisions in George’s Circumstances

George is in a sad and depressing situation that none can ever contemplate unless in reality. While one may consider and try to make certain decisions and considerations, it is only through reality that one can understand the magnitude of such conditions and situations. Imperatively, I would attempt to keep hope alive and focus on medical interventions as provided by the medical team to enhance my quality of life. However, I must concede that it would be difficult and challenging but I will have no other choice apart from may be contemplating ending life, just like George. However, I must give myself hope and understand that God is there for me. I will endeavor to keep praying and doing all that is recommended because God can work miracles and heal me. More fundamentally, I must challenge myself to try and live as I can even in the most difficult situations.

Conclusion

The thoughts of death and dying are not only challenging but too difficult and complex for all people. In this case, George’s diagnosis is too real and has left him with complex decisions to make. While euthanasia and assisted suicide are options for many individuals with terminal illnesses, the Christian worldview is against such contemplation and implores individuals to put their trust in God because he will deliver them from their inequities and suffering. George’s situation is hard but as a Christian, he should not consider euthanasia as a means to an end but place his hope in God.

References

Astrachan, J. H., Astrachan, C. B., Campopiano, G., & Baù, M. (2020). Values, spirituality and

religion: Family business and the roots of sustainable ethical behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 163(4), 637-645.

Boheng, I. (2020). The Doctrine of Imago Dei and the Challenge of Euthanasia. E-Journal of

Religious and Theological Studies (EJRATS), 6(3): 158-168. DOI: 10.38159/erats.2020062

Choundry, M, Latif, A. & Warburton, K. W (2018). An overview of the spiritual importance of

end-of-life care among the five major faiths of the United Kingdom. Clinical Medicine (London), 18(1):23-31. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.18-1-23

Fortuin, N. P. M., Schilderman, J. B. A. M. & Venbrux, E. (2019). Determining the end of life: a

qualitative study of religion and euthanasia among older Dutch adults. Mortality: Promoting the Interdisciplinary Study of Death and Dying, 25(2): 167-184. https://doi.org/10.1080/13576275.2019.1584165

Hesslein, K. D. (2019). Free to Die: A Lutheran-Relational Approach to Medical Assistance in

Dying. Religions, 11(213). doi:10.3390/rel11040213

Wallace, C. L., Cohen, H. L., & Jenkins, D. A. (2019). Transforming students’ attitudes and

anxieties toward death and loss: The role of prior death experiences. OMEGA-Journal of Death and Dying, 79(1), 52-71.

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