Case Study on Death and Dying Essay

Case Study on Death and Dying Essay

  1. How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the fallenness of the world?

The healthcare practice encounters multiple religious issues concerned with the patient’s faith. Religion affects our life choices and makes up a significant foundation of our existence. Holistic care also borrows from the religious beliefs and hence influences the healthcare process. In order to avoid conflicts, a deep understanding of the faith expression diversities is essential. This paper thus focuses on the Christian faith and healthcare through an exploration of a case study of George, an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patient. Case Study on Death and Dying Essay

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In the light of the Christian narrative, George would interpret his suffering as God’s way of testing his faith. Christians hold the belief that everything happens according to Gods will. They also believe that every event occurring in their lives is meant to teach a lesson or reveal a particular intention from God. Moreover, God manifests his grace though healing after suffering.  For instance, Jesus noted that the blind man was suffering because God wanted to manifest His glory through his healing (John: 9).Christianity would thus advice George to wait upon the Lord for healing and be patient to learn the lesson and Gods intention for his suffering. His faith and prayers are expected to facilitate his healing according to the Bible. This is because; Christians believe that everything is possible through God.

On the other hand, suffering is considered a punishment for wrong doing. According to the Bible, the paralyzed man brought to Jesus for healing was forgiven his sins. Jesus said to the sick man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2).  In Deuteronomy (28:58–61) and Leviticus (26:15,16), it is evident that God sends suffering to the bodies of sinners, their families, crops and animals. In this case, George is expected to perceive his suffering as a punishment for his sins or the sins of his family and therefore repent to gain God’s mercy so that his illness can be alleviated.

  1. How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the hope of resurrection?

            Following the Christian narrative, George should be hopeful of recovery after suffering. According to the Old Testament, Abram and Sarai suffered childlessness for so many years which subjected them to humiliation (Genesis, 15). However, God blessed them with a son as a fulfillment of His promise. Abram kept his faith in God and hoped for a child in form of a resurrection since Sarai was too old to have children. The Bible says that, “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead (Romans 4:19).” As such, George is expected by the Christian narrative to keep hoping for his day of resurrection and not lose hope. This means that Christianity does not allow him to undertake the euthanasia process regardless of his progressive suffering.

Moreover, George should hope for resurrection after death and should therefore wait upon God to decide whether he dies or recovers from his illness. The Christian hope is a certainty and not a wish and thus it is just yet to be fulfilled at the right time. Hope carries believers through trials and makes them emerge victorious. For example, Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead after suffering and thus gives the Christians the hope to come back to life. According to 1 Corinthians (15:4), Jesus was crucified and came back to life after three days. George should therefore perceive his suffering as a pathway to death and eventual bodily resurrection in the same way as Christ suffered. He should be hopeful for a better future without suffering which can only be achieved through death and resurrection.

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  1. As George contemplates life with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), how would the Christian worldview inform his view about the value of his life as a person?

            George is currently contemplating assisted death through voluntary euthanasia to alleviate his suffering and the possibility of becoming dependent and powerless likely to be caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The Christian worldview describes the beliefs and ideas framework through which Christian cultures, groups and individuals interpret and interact with the world. Christians believe that life is valuable and has a purpose as gift given by God. As such George’s decisions must be guided by God’s purpose and will for his life. Case Study on Death and Dying Essay

Euthanasia is a controversial topic in the contemporary society. The advocates of this practice seek to reduce their suffering. However, the Bible teaches of suffering as often an involuntary aspect of the Christian life that cannot be avoided sometimes. It is also viewed as God’s intention on humanity for their sins or a way of manifesting his wonders. Consequently, Christians should rejoice in their suffering since it builds endurance (Romans 5:3). According to James (1:2-4), faith generates steadfast and fulfillment and thus, Christians should rejoice in both trials and joy as a test to their faith.

Following these the Christian worldview, taking one’s life as well as assisted death is a sin. Generally, any death that is not considered natural is termed as a sin and against the will of God and Christianity faith. This is because, life is God given and it is only God who has the right to terminate it as an indication of an individual’s fulfillment of their purpose on earth.  Sins are considered to separate people from God and thus, euthanasia will be against the will of God and Christianity. In this case, George should respect the value of his life as expected of Christians and endure suffering as a test of faith that will bring about endurance and fulfillment of Gods purpose for his life. Instead he should find the care approaches that will minimize his suffering and maximize care that supports holistic practices.

  1. What sorts of values and considerations would the Christian worldview focus on in deliberating about whether or not George should opt for euthanasia?

            Multiple Christian values inform healthcare practice related to end-of-life care. Some of the values applicable in the case of George include dignity. This considers human beings as God’s creations created in His own image and therefore deserve honor and respectful treatment. This gives value to the human life and therefore euthanasia goes against this value as it considers life unworthy living. Ethical nursing practice also upholds dignity and therefore, their decision should be guided by this value. A good approach for George’s case would therefore involve the provision of comfort and improvement of the quality of his life through palliative care.

Christianity also holds the values of love and compassion. Among terminally ill suffering patients, compassion is considered as the emotional and medical care focused on making the patients suffering bearable. It involves being kind, caring and helpful to the suffering individuals. In George’s situation, it could involve the administration of medication and delivery of care focused on improving his life as he awaits natural death. Euthanasia is considered to go against the Christianity view of compassion even though it alleviates their suffering (Paterson, 2017). It is viewed as murder and is forbidden in the Ten Commandments since it goes against the value of love. George should be subjected to compassionate care as he waits God’s hour which only He knows (Matthew 24:36).

  1. Given the above, what options would be morally justified in the Christian worldview for George and why?

According to Helming (2007), Christians should endure suffering as they pray to God to answer their healing prayers. Strong faith is the foundation of Christianity and therefore, a morally justified option would be to provide palliative care to the patient instead of giving euthanasia. George should understand that his suffering is God-given and therefore, God has a reason for it. He should understand that ending life is unacceptable according to the Christian worldview and assisting death is considered as murder which is against the Ten Commandments that guides the morality of the people. On the other hand, moral uprightness upholds the dignity of an individual regardless of their situation. Therefore, compassionate holistic care would be another option towards recovery of the patient or death of the patient. He should also pray faithfully and engage religious leaders in prayer for God to have mercy on his situation and heal him as He manifests his powers over sickness.

  1. Based on your worldview, what decision would you make if you were in George’s situation?

The Christian view and narrative of death considers it a tragedy rather than an evil. Death is transformed into light through the resurrection and thus, Christianity should embrace suffering and natural death as the will of God to get them into a better place and life. In order to honor God’s purpose for my life, I would therefore endure the pain from my sickness and wait upon the Lord to determine my hour of death. This is because; the worldview of Christianity does not approve euthanasia. It is both morally unacceptable and perceived as murder in the eyes of the Christian society. Case Study on Death and Dying Essay

The Ten Commandments also condemn killing and the Roman Catholic considers euthanasia as a grave violation of God’s law. The human life is considered sacred and with a purpose from God and being a Christian who believes and respects the law of God, I will wait for God to fulfill His purpose with my life rather than subject myself to voluntary assisted death. Instead, I will repent my sins and pray for healing from God since the Bible notes that sins can be the cause of suffering. This will enable me to get to heaven with the hope of resurrection into a better life. I will also hold my faith that God can heal from suffering at His own time to manifest His power and miracles through my testimony.

References

Bible, H. New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. Inc.® Used by permission.

Helming, M. A. B. (2007). The lived experience of being healed through prayer in adults active in a Christian church. Union Institute and University.

Paterson, C. (2017). Assisted suicide and euthanasia: a natural law ethics approach. Routledge

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Case Study on Death and Dying Essay

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