How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the fallenness of the world?
Case Study: End of Life Decisions
George is a successful attorney in his mid-fifties. He is also a legal scholar, holding a teaching post at the local university law school in Oregon. George is also actively involved in his teenage son’s basketball league, coaching regularly for their team. Recently, George has experienced muscle weakness and unresponsive muscle coordination.
He was forced to seek medical attention after he fell and injured his hip. After an examination at the local hospital following his fall, the attending physician suspected that George may be showing early symptoms for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The week following the initial examination, further testing revealed a positive diagnosis of ALS.
ALS is progressive and gradually causes motor neuron deterioration and muscle atrophy to the point of complete muscle control loss. There is currently no cure for ALS, and the median life expectancy is between 3 and 4 years, though it is not uncommon for some to live 10 or more years. The progressive muscle atrophy and deterioration of motor neurons leads to the loss of the ability to speak, move, eat, and breathe. However, sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell are not affected. Patients will be wheelchair bound and eventually need permanent ventilator support to assist with breathing.
George and his family are devastated by the diagnosis. George knows that treatment options only attempt to slow down the degeneration, but the symptoms will eventually come. He will eventually be wheelchair bound and be unable to move, eat, speak, or even breathe on his own.
In contemplating his future life with ALS, George begins to dread the prospect of losing his mobility and even speech. He imagines his life in complete dependence upon others for basic everyday functions and perceives the possibility of eventually degenerating to the point at which he is a prisoner in his own body. Would he be willing to undergo such torture, such loss of his own dignity and power? George thus begins inquiring about the possibility of voluntary euthanasia.
The practice of health care providers at all levels brings you into contact with people from a variety of faiths. This calls for knowledge and understanding of a diversity of faith expressions; for the purpose of this course, the focus will be on the Christian worldview.
Based on “Case Study: End of Life Decisions,” the Christian worldview, and the worldview questions presented in the required topic study materials you will complete an ethical analysis of George’s situation and his decision from the perspective of the Christian worldview.
Provide a 1,500-2,000-word ethical analysis while answering the following questions:
- How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the fallenness of the world?
- How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the hope of resurrection?
- 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?
- What sorts of values and considerations would the Christian worldview focus on in deliberating about whether or not George should opt for euthanasia?
- Given the above, what options would be morally justified in the Christian worldview for George and why?
- Based on your worldview, what decision would you make if you were in George’s situation?
Remember to support your responses with the topic study materials.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Case Study on Death and Dying
The concept of death and dying, is, in most cases viewed from different perspectives depending on one’s cultural and spiritual beliefs. An individual’s choice on how they approach or look at death can also vary depending on the condition they are in. The selection of voluntary euthanasia, in light of terminal illnesses, is one which has elicited discussion, especially from different religious groups, including Christianity.
This paper will evaluate a case of Mr George, a fifty-year-old lawyer diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Due to his condition, George is considering voluntary euthanasia as a possible option to avoid the harrowing life that awaits him after the disease has taken its course.
How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the fallenness of the world?
The Christian narrative has different interpretations of suffering as that which is experienced by George. The first interpretation of suffering is the notion that suffering comes as a form of test to measure our faith in God (O’brien, 2017). There are various biblical examples where suffering was used as a test of faith. Such instances describe the fact that after one has demonstrated their true faith in God, they can then overcome the suffering and come out victorious, with their state prior to the suffering being restored (O’brien, 2017).
This narrative calls for one to persevere throughout the entire ordeal, which in the given case, George may not be thinking as such. The second narrative is where suffering is used as a punishment occurring after one has sinned. The biblical narrative established the fact that sinners will be punished for the sins they have committed. In such a case, then George may view his suffering as retribution for the sins he has committed in his lifetime.
Taking into consideration George’s perspective and linking it to the Christian narrative, George may believe that escaping this world, which is laced with sin may, in turn, be a better option for him. The Christian narrative, after all, assures life after death and one which is free of suffering for those who are righteous (Doka & Morgan, 2016).
He might be looking at the world as a place which is full of suffering as a result of the sins committed by man to God. God being the creator of the world, therefore, punishes its inhabitants with different forms of suffering, including untreatable conditions like the one faced by George, as retribution of sinning against Him.
How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the hope of resurrection?
Using the narratives described in the previous section, facing such a condition as the one being faced by George, there are various perspectives which may be taken by George. Knowing the world as a fallen place for sinners, with heaven being a place for the righteous, George may view death as a gateway which will allow him to escape the suffering that awaits him with the progression of his medical condition. By leaving this world, then George may be hoping to resurrect in a world free from suffering.
Alternatively, George may also view escaping his suffering by engaging involuntary euthanasia to be equivalent to committing suicide and in extension, a sin against God (Rumun, 2014). Being his last act, this will prevent him from having any hope of resurrection and in return, guarantee him eternal suffering in the afterlife as per the biblical narrative.
The biblical narrative gives various examples where suffering was used as a conduit to establish a closer relationship with God. Earthly suffering from a biblical perspective is considered an essential part of the process towards eternal life through resurrection. Those who overcame the suffering from the biblical narrative were assured eternal life free of the suffering as experienced here on earth. With this perspective, then George should not consider voluntary euthanasia as his option of dealing with the expected suffering.
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?
Given the condition being faced by George, there is a high likelihood that he has already lost hope in living depending on his perspective of what a human person is. Many at times, people with terminal illnesses like ALS consider themselves as lesser human beings or people waiting on the death list. As such, their perception of life my change whereby, they are likely to consider their lives as being unworthy. That is why, in most cases, such patients consider euthanasia as the most viable option (Sharp, 2017).
From a Christian worldview, all life is considered sacred and belonging to God, who is the creator. Therefore, taking one’s own life is regarded as a sin regardless of the condition one is in. Using this narrative, then all lives before the eyes of God can be considered as being equal in value (O’brien, 2017). The same way God views a healthy person is the same way He views a diseased person. As such, the Christian world view considers George to still retain his value as a person, regardless of his condition. In light of this, the Christian worldview, therefore, prohibits using earthly suffering as a reason to take one’s own life.
According to the biblical narrative which dictates the Christian worldview, every person is purposed to accomplish a certain mission in accordance with God’s design. Upon the accomplishment of that mission, in God’s own timing, one transitions to the afterlife through death. Taking one’s own life is equivalent to departing the world before accomplishing God’s intended purpose on earth. All the scenarios highlighted indicate the value of life from a Christian worldview which may help George in choosing his preferred course of action in dealing with the illness.
What sorts of values and considerations would the Christian worldview focus on in deliberating about whether or not George should opt for euthanasia?
The Christian worldview in light of George’s condition will employ different values and consideration as dictated by the biblical teachings. One of the considerations which will be taken is the value of life as earlier discussed. The Christian worldview considers the sanctity of life and considers it as a gift from God.
Before God’s will for an individual is accomplished, then taking that life away is considered a sin before God. Likewise, Christians view the concept of birth and death as holding high spiritual significance, in the sense that both processes are controlled by the creator and therefore should not be interrupted by man (SSorajjakool et al., 2017). The fact that Christians also believe that all human beings were created in the likeness of God, then defiling the image of God through suicide, may be considered a sin. Therefore, opting for euthanasia, according to the Christian worldview, may be going contrary to God’s will.
Another Christian virtue is the virtue of perseverance. The biblical narrative elaborates preserving through hardship and suffering as being an essential aspect of a Christians life. It is through perseverance and maintaining a firm stance of faith that we get closer to God. the biblical narrative establishes that resurrection comes to those who persevere to the end (Romans 5:1-5, New International Version Bible).
Given the above, what options would be morally justified in the Christian worldview for George and why?
From a Christian worldview, George should opt to persevere through the suffering with the belief that through his suffering, he will receive renewed strength from God. Given the Christian perspective on the value of life and perception of sin, George opting for euthanasia will be considered going against God’s will. The Christian worldview also looks at death as a phenomenon which should not be interfered with by mortals, and left only to God, for he is the creator and therefore the owner of that life (De Villiers, 2016).
Taking away that life through euthanasia will be tantamount to robbing God His possession. Ultimately, the Christian perspective considers all life as having equal value and George should not consider his as being any less valuable in light of his medical condition. These are some of the moral considerations which George ought to take by employed a Christian point of view.
Based on your worldview, what decision would you make if you were in George’s situation?
It is indeed a difficult choice to make when faced with such an illness as one experienced by George. When one encounters a seemingly hopeless situation, there are several considerations which come into play to make a decision. One of those considerations is, of course, the quality of life one will lead in light of the situation. Being incapacitated for the rest of your life seems to be harrowing enough ordeal which one would never want to experience.
Other than that, how the medical condition will impact the immediate family members is also a factor. In most cases, one would consider the burden left to those who care for them as being unbearable as such opting to rid them of that burden by going for options such as euthanasia (Movahedi & Tavacoly, 2016). In some instances, one may not have someone to care for them, which exposes them to even more suffering. Taking all the listed considerations into perspective, opting for euthanasia will most likely be the selected choice of action to take.
However, coming from a strong spiritual background, where practices like euthanasia are considered sinful, then consideration of other options will be my preferred course of action. My spiritual perspective is one which is cemented on hope and faith that things may turn out for the best. Therefore, I would opt for the treatment regimens, which are aimed at reducing the progression of the disease. I will consider this option in the hope that, after the bought time, a more permanent treatment solution will be available in the market, allowing the condition to get treated.
The concept of death and dying is one which breeds difficult moral dilemmas, especially when faced with a seemingly hopeless situation. The use of euthanasia as a possible option when dealing with terminal illnesses is one which, according to the Christian worldview, is considered as a sin. However, a patient facing such a condition may be inclined to opt for such measures, given the envisioned suffering faced by themselves, and their loved ones as a result of the disease. This paper has therefore described the various considerations on the subject according to a Christian worldview. The paper has described dealing with the issue from a Christian perspective and concluded by explaining my personal perspective on the subject.
De Villiers, D. E. (2016). May Christians request medically assisted suicide and euthanasia?. HTS Theological Studies, 72(4), 1-9.
Doka, K. J., & Morgan, J. D. (2016). Death and spirituality. Routledge.
Movahedi, M. J., & Tavacoly, G. (2016). Euthanasia in religion-based deontology. Medical Ethics Journal, 10(34), 165-186.
O’brien, M. E. (2017). Spirituality in nursing. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Rumun, A. J. (2014). Influence of religious beliefs on healthcare practice. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(4), 37-47.
Sharp, S. (2017). Belief in miracles and attitudes towards voluntary euthanasia. Death studies, 41(4), 211-219.
SSorajjakool, S., Carr, M. F., Nam, J. J., Sorajjakool, S., & Bursey, E. (2017). World religions for healthcare professionals. Routledge.
What is suffering in the light of the Christian narrative?
In the realm of theological and philosophical discourse, suffering is a topic that has garnered profound contemplation and scrutiny throughout history. Within the Christian narrative, suffering holds a unique and significant place, woven into the fabric of faith and belief. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the multifaceted dimensions of suffering from a Christian perspective, shedding light on its theological foundations, theodicy, and the enduring hope that emerges from this profound narrative.
The Theological Underpinnings
Suffering as a Consequence of the Fall
In Christian theology, suffering is often seen as a consequence of humanity’s fall from grace, as depicted in the Book of Genesis. According to the Christian narrative, Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden introduced sin into the world, resulting in a broken relationship between humanity and God. This brokenness is believed to be the root cause of suffering, encompassing physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.
The Redemptive Suffering of Christ
Central to the Christian narrative is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, a pivotal event that exemplifies the concept of redemptive suffering. Christians believe that Jesus willingly endured immense physical and emotional pain on the cross to atone for the sins of humanity. His suffering is seen as a redemptive act that offers salvation and reconciliation with God, highlighting the transformative power of suffering within the Christian framework.
Theodicy: Wrestling with the Problem of Evil
God’s Permissive Will
One of the profound theological questions that arises in the context of suffering is the problem of evil. If God is all-loving and all-powerful, why does He permit suffering to exist in the world? This question has led to the development of various theodicies, or explanations for the existence of evil and suffering.
Within the Christian narrative, many theologians propose the concept of God’s permissive will. This perspective posits that God allows suffering to exist as a consequence of granting humans free will. In His divine wisdom, God allows humans to make choices, even if they lead to suffering. This free will is seen as a necessary component of genuine love and moral agency.
The Hope of Divine Providence
Despite the enigma of suffering, the Christian narrative emphasizes the hope of divine providence. Christians believe that God is intimately involved in the lives of individuals and that He can bring about goodness even in the midst of suffering. This hope is encapsulated in the Bible verse Romans 8:28, which states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Finding Meaning Amidst Suffering
Spiritual Growth and Character Development
Within the Christian narrative, suffering is viewed as an opportunity for spiritual growth and character development. Adversity, it is believed, refines and strengthens one’s faith, perseverance, and resilience. As James 1:2-4 reminds believers, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Compassion and Empathy
Suffering also plays a profound role in cultivating compassion and empathy within the Christian community. As Christians witness the pain and struggles of others, they are called to extend a helping hand and offer solace, embodying the teachings of Jesus to love one’s neighbor as oneself.
The Ultimate Hope: Resurrection and Eternity
Resurrection and the Defeat of Death
At the core of the Christian narrative lies the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This event represents the triumph of life over death and the promise of eternal life for believers. In the face of suffering, Christians find solace in the hope of resurrection, viewing it as the ultimate victory over the temporal trials of this world.
Eternal Redemption and Restoration
The Christian narrative offers a vision of eternal redemption and restoration, where suffering and pain will be no more. The book of Revelation paints a vivid picture of a new heaven and a new earth, where God will wipe away every tear, and there will be no more death, mourning, or pain.
In conclusion, the Christian narrative provides a profound and multifaceted perspective on suffering. It acknowledges the reality of human pain and sorrow while offering a framework for understanding suffering in the context of divine providence, redemption, and hope. Through theological foundations, theodicy, and the promise of resurrection and eternal life, Christians navigate the complex terrain of suffering with faith, resilience, and unwavering hope.
How might Christian values and or traits help you to become successful as a community public health nurse?
Christian values and traits can significantly contribute to one’s success as a community public health nurse. While healthcare is a diverse field that embraces individuals from various backgrounds and belief systems, Christian values can provide a strong foundation for compassionate, ethical, and effective nursing practice. Here’s how Christian values and traits can be instrumental in a public health nursing career:
- Compassion and Empathy: Christian teachings emphasize the importance of loving one’s neighbor and showing compassion to those in need. These values can translate into genuine empathy for patients and a deep commitment to improving the health and well-being of the community. A compassionate public health nurse is better equipped to understand the challenges faced by individuals and communities and can offer support and care with a caring heart.
- Service to Others: The Christian value of service aligns closely with the mission of public health nursing. A dedication to serving others, especially the underserved and marginalized, can motivate a nurse to work tirelessly to address health disparities and promote equity in healthcare access. Public health nurses often work with vulnerable populations, and a strong sense of service can guide them in making a meaningful impact.
- Ethical Integrity: Christian values emphasize honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct. These principles are crucial in healthcare, where trust is paramount. Public health nurses make decisions that affect the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Upholding ethical standards ensures that nurses prioritize the best interests of their patients and the community, even in challenging situations.
- Forgiveness and Patience: Nursing can be emotionally demanding, and public health nurses often encounter complex and difficult situations. Christian values of forgiveness and patience can help nurses cope with stress and maintain resilience in the face of adversity. These traits allow nurses to approach their work with a positive attitude and a willingness to persevere through challenges.
- Collaboration and Community Engagement: Christian values emphasize the importance of community and fellowship. Public health nursing is inherently collaborative, requiring cooperation with various healthcare professionals, community organizations, and government agencies. A nurse who values community and collaboration is more likely to establish strong partnerships and engage effectively with stakeholders to address public health issues.
- Hope and Faith: Christian faith instills hope and belief in the possibility of positive change. In public health nursing, where the challenges can seem overwhelming, having faith in the capacity to make a difference is essential. A hopeful and resilient nurse can inspire others and drive collective efforts towards healthier communities.
- Cultural Sensitivity: Christian values often promote tolerance and understanding of diverse cultures and backgrounds. This sensitivity is invaluable in public health nursing, where cultural competence is essential for delivering culturally appropriate care. Nurses who respect and honor cultural differences can establish trust and effectively communicate with diverse populations.
- Altruism and Selflessness: The Christian value of selflessness can inspire nurses to put the needs of others first. In public health, this altruistic approach can lead to innovative solutions, advocacy for the vulnerable, and a steadfast commitment to improving community health.
What does euthanasia do to the body?
Euthanasia is the intentional act of ending a person’s life to relieve suffering, typically due to a terminal illness or unbearable pain. It can be carried out through various means, including medication, injections, or other methods. The effects of euthanasia on the body can vary depending on the method used. Here, we will explore the general physiological impact of euthanasia on the body:
- Respiratory and Cardiovascular Systems:
- In cases of euthanasia involving medication, one of the common methods is the administration of drugs, such as barbiturates, that suppress the central nervous system.
- These drugs can lead to respiratory depression, causing a gradual slowing of breathing and ultimately respiratory arrest.
- As breathing slows down, the oxygen supply to the body decreases, which affects the cardiovascular system.
- The heart rate may slow down, and blood pressure can drop as a result of decreased oxygen levels.
- Central Nervous System:
- Euthanasia drugs often act on the central nervous system, inducing a state of unconsciousness and sedation.
- The individual may lose consciousness shortly after the administration of the drugs, leading to a lack of awareness and sensation.
- Gastrointestinal System:
- Euthanasia drugs can also affect the gastrointestinal system, leading to nausea and vomiting in some cases.
- This can be a distressing side effect for both the individual and the healthcare providers involved.
- Muscular System:
- As the drugs take effect and the individual becomes sedated, muscle relaxation occurs.
- This relaxation can lead to a loss of muscle tone and control, which can manifest as muscle weakness or flaccidity.
- Metabolic Changes:
- Euthanasia can also bring about metabolic changes in the body.
- The cessation of breathing and circulation results in a lack of oxygen delivery to tissues, leading to a buildup of waste products, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.
- These metabolic changes can contribute to the progression of organ failure.
It’s important to note that the physiological effects of euthanasia are designed to bring about a peaceful and painless death for individuals who have chosen this option due to unbearable suffering or terminal illness. Euthanasia is a highly controversial and ethically complex practice, and its legality varies from one jurisdiction to another.
Euthanasia is typically administered under strict medical supervision by trained healthcare professionals to ensure that the process is as painless and humane as possible. Legal and ethical considerations, as well as patient autonomy and consent, play a significant role in the decision-making process surrounding euthanasia.
What is the golden rule of euthanasia?
The “golden rule” of euthanasia is often expressed as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This ethical principle, rooted in empathy and compassion, suggests that one should treat others the way they themselves would like to be treated, particularly in situations involving end-of-life decisions and suffering.
In the context of euthanasia, the golden rule underscores the importance of considering the wishes and preferences of individuals who may be facing unbearable suffering due to terminal illness or extreme pain. It encourages empathy and understanding for their situation and allows for a compassionate approach to end-of-life care.
It’s essential to note that the golden rule of euthanasia emphasizes respecting an individual’s autonomy and right to make decisions about their own life and death, especially when they are in a state of physical or emotional distress. This ethical principle is often invoked in discussions surrounding the legalization and regulation of euthanasia, highlighting the importance of allowing individuals to have control over their end-of-life choices, provided they meet certain legal and ethical criteria.
However, it’s important to recognize that euthanasia remains a highly debated and regulated practice in many parts of the world, and its application is subject to a variety of legal, medical, and ethical considerations. Decisions related to euthanasia should always be made within the framework of established laws and ethical guidelines, prioritizing the well-being and autonomy of the individuals involved.