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Christian Worldview 

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.

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Christian Worldview- Georges Case Study

 

Medical care is a profession devoted to saving lives through ever-evolving technology and medical knowledge. A legal and ethical assumption is that life is preferable to death. As such, medical professionals must preserve life and allow patients to experience and enjoy the benefits of quality living. However, there comes a time in life when continued living is not consistent with the interests of the patient. Different patients may utilize different worldviews to support or deny the purpose of living in severe chronic illnesses. One of the most recognized is the Christian worldview with deep religious connotations. George is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative disease of the brain nerves and spinal cord. He is considering the possibility of voluntary euthanasia due to the prospects of low quality of life in the future. In an ethical analysis approach, what are George's situation and decision from a Christian worldview?

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

The Christian worldview is that human beings live in a fallen world. The constant suffering through pain, diseases, accidents, natural disasters, and death are a constant reminder of the world's fallenness. It is a contradiction to the goodness of the world in early times when God, in His infinite wisdom, created the universe to perfection and placed Adam and Eve as guardians of his work. However, they rebelled and God pronounced a curse for Adam, Eve, and his creation. Man was the leader of God’s creation and when he fell into sin, the whole world also followed him (Shelly & Miller, 2009). The fall marked the beginning of an imperfect creation. George’s suffering is part of living in a fallen world.

Apostle Paul also describes the fallenness of God’s creation. In his work, he states that God’s creation is subject to failure, bondage, slavery, corruption, and decay (Mc Tavish, 2016). As part of the creation, George's condition is part of the intensity of God's wrath. The expected suffering from ALS and the untimely death is part of the destructive wrath on human's sinful nature. George is also sinful and subject to pain and suffering like any other human being. However, God is merciful and does not punish people like they deserve (Alexander, 2018). Instead, he punished Jesus his son for the sake of human’s eternal life.

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

 Jesus suffered the wrath of God against sin from Adam and Eve by suffering on the cross. Jesus's actions were part of God's efforts to repair the brokenness of his creation for human beings. He was the savior from the impending doom of man through God's wrath. Sadly, George like any other human being is not exempted from suffering, pain, and death. Nonetheless, through Christ, the nature of suffering in a fallen world is changed from punishment to hope for resurrection (Mc Tavish, 2016). It’s like a mother who hopefully and expectantly goes through labor to have a baby. Through every pain or suffering, Christians have hope for that glorious gift of eternal life.

George is going through suffering as part of God’s plan for the sinful nature of mankind. Until that resurrection day, he is prone to the pain and agony of humanity. However, his pain is not a sign of suffering but a fellowship with Jesus Christ. Peter writes to Christians that they should be glad in the suffering because they will have exceeding joy when Jesus Glory is revealed through eternal life (Bwanani, 2020). He also adds that any Christian pain and suffering is part of Jesus's consolation. George can interpret his suffering with the expectant hope for eternal life as a child of God.

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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?

Life is a gift for human beings from God and evidence of his craftsmanship. Man is created in the image and likeness of God with enormous capabilities and potentials.  His creation was God’s achievement and a proclamation of his glory and might (Saybey, 2016). Indeed, human beings are superior to all other creations from conception to death. God acknowledges our existence before our first breadth as instruments of his existence. Paul adds that God loves every human being before their existence as his adopted children (Bwanani, 2020). Value for human life is also evident in Jesus' ministries when he stated that he died for our sins that we may achieve eternal life in heaven. All this is evidence that human life is valuable and part of God's love for our existence.

In a Christian worldview, George’s life is valuable and a precious gift from God. Irrespective of the ALS, he is still God's chosen instrument, and his suffering part of His plan for a better course. As a Christian, he must persevere the suffering and use the condition as an opportunity to glorify God. His life is still valuable like it was before his conception despite the inevitable suffering and imminent death.

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

The fall of mankind is the cause of death for all human beings with pain and suffering often part of the dying process. However, euthanasia aims at changing the course of death by eliminating pain and suffering. From a Christian worldview, it is wrong and against God's sixth commandment which prohibits Christians from euthanasia regardless of the consent from the ailing person. An example is seen in the bible when King Saul is fatally wounded and commands his assistant to kill him to avoid the enemy's humiliation after the defeat but he adamantly refuses (1 Sam. 31:3–5). In contrast, the Amalekites agree to Saul's pleas and execute Saul at his request. After they brought the news to David, he was furious and executed them for taking Saul's life (2 Sam. 1:1–16). David was an upright man of God and his actions an elaboration of Christian living.

George is also wrong to consider euthanasia as an escape from suffering. He should view his life as God's gift to humanity and only he should take it away. He should emulate the life of Jesus who suffered and died on the cross for us to have eternal life. He should endure the suffering like Jesus did and hold on to the hope of reuniting with Jesus in the everlasting life. His actions to end his life through euthanasia would not be consistent with the life of Jesus, who is an example of Christian living. Just like Jesus asked God to remove the ‘cup of suffering,’ he should also endure and ask God for enough grace to see him through the pain and suffering of living with ALS.

Welcoming death is largely dependent on one’s view of life after death. Christians hold on to the hope of eternal life as a gift to their suffering just like Jesus arose to eternity. If George views his condition as God's will for his way to eternity, then it can provide him with the reality that God is still under control. Therefore, it is George’s responsibility as a Christian to respect God’s will to prevail and go through the pain and suffering as his plan for an everlasting dynasty in heaven.

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

George has to view his suffering as a fellowship to Christ’s suffering and not as a punishment for the fallenness of the world. He should embrace his condition as a partaker of Christ's suffering so that he may also participate in Jesus' consolations. The suffering is per Christian living because there would be no connection to Christ without enduring the suffering. He should also suffer like Christ for him to be glorified in his eternal life. The suffering that he goes through cannot be compared to the promised glory in heaven. Therefore, George has to take on the challenge of suffering as a Christian and endure all hardships without the option of euthanasia.

Based on your worldview, what decision would you make if you were in George\'s situation?

In George's situation, I would consider euthanasia as an option. Ethical principles dictate that every person has the right to self-determination, freedom, and autonomy. As such, everyone has a right to accept or reject any medical intervention including the right to accept complicated medical intervention to preserve life. If I have the right to live a worthy life, then there should be no hindrance to the right to a dignified death. On a libertarian argument, death is a private matter and no one has the right to interfere if there is no harm to the community. Euthanasia provides one with an opportunity to be in control of their life to the last moments. Most importantly, and consistent with the principle of distributive justice, it is expensive to keep one alive when there is no cure for an illness. Euthanasia would save a lot of money and resources for people who could live.

 

References

Alexander, L. (2018). Retributive justice. Oxford Handbooks Online. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199645121.013.32

Bible Gateway passage: 1 Samuel 31:3-5 - New international version. (2011). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%2031%3A3-5&version=NIV

Bible Gateway passage: 2 Samuel 1:1-16 - King James Version. (2011). Bible Gateway. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Samuel+1%3A1%2D16&version=KJV

Bwanali, P. N. (2020). Paul and the Giants of Philosophy: Reading the Apostle in the Greco-Roman Context. Edited by Joseph R. Dodson and David E. Briones. International Philosophical Quarterly, 60(3), 355-357.

McTavish, F. J. (2016). Suffering, death, and eternal life. The Linacre Quarterly, 83(2), 134-141. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5102199/

Saybey B. (2016). Definitions of death: brain death and what matters in a person. J Law Biosci. 3(3), 743–752.

Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2009). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing. InterVarsity Press.

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