Religious Worldview on Health Care
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 acceptance of a diversity of faith expressions.
The purpose of this paper is to complete a comparative ethical analysis of George’s situation and decision from the perspective of two worldviews or religions: Christianity and a second religion of your choosing. For the second faith, choose a faith that is unfamiliar to you. Examples of faiths to choose from include Sikh, Baha’i, Buddhism, Shintoism, etc.
In your comparative analysis, address all of the worldview questions in detail for Christianity and your selected faith. Refer to Chapter 2 of Called to Care for the list of questions. Once you have outlined the worldview of each religion, begin your ethical analysis from each perspective.
In a minimum of 1,500-2,000 words, provide an ethical analysis based upon the different belief systems, reinforcing major themes with insights gained from your research, and answering the following questions based on the research:
How would each religion interpret the nature of George’s malady and suffering? Is there a “why” to his disease and suffering? (i.e., is there a reason for why George is ill, beyond the reality of physical malady?)
In George’s analysis of his own life, how would each religion think about the value of his life as a person, and value of his life with ALS?
What sorts of values and considerations would each religion focus on in deliberating about whether or not George should opt for euthanasia?
Given the above, what options would be morally justified under each religion for George and why?
Finally, present and defend your own view.
Support your position by referencing at least three academic resources (preferably from the GCU Library) in addition to the course readings, lectures, the Bible, and the textbooks for each religion. Each religion must have a primary source included. A total of six references are required according to the specifications listed above. Incorporate the research into your writing in an appropriate, scholarly manner.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is required.
Religious Worldview on Health Care
The purpose of this essay is to discover the existing predominant themes in religion, illness, and death and try to examine the relationship that usually exists between these ideas and the religion creeds in the discourse of those families which have one or more of their loved ones being ill. That is done by conducting a comparative ethical analysis of two religions regarding their beliefs and faith towards the un-curable Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) ailment that George is suffering from in the case study. Both spiritual and religious beliefs bring into light the various possibilities of attributing meanings and answers to the critical questions that arise in the view of disease and the possibility of death. This paper seeks to explain how various practices and beliefs in Christianity and Buddhism influence people’s decisions about their health care issues. It also gives a detailed analysis of the ethical differences of both the situation and decisions that George has to make in regards to the Christian and Buddhism perception.
Worldview Questions About Christianity
The Christian worldview starts with the Almighty God who is known to people through the various teachings found in the Bible. There exist different worldview issues and answers in the Christian religion. For instance, the answer to the question about the prime or real reality is that either, God, gods or material cosmos are the true symbols of the actual reality. Christians view the nature of the world around them as an orderly creation of God. The Christians widely believe that they were all made in the image of God and are a highly complex machine when it comes to explaining what the human being is (Adrian, Roberts, Wenyika & McCarthy, 2013). The issue of death is another major controversial agenda that exists in the Christian faith. Followers of the Christian faith believe that once a person dies, he or she gets a transformation to a higher state, makes a departure to the shadowy existence on the other side of life or practically becomes reincarnated. According to this religion, the fact that human beings are made in the image of God makes answers the question regarding their ability to differentiate between right and wrong (Barry, 2017).
Worldview Questions About Buddhism
Just like in the Christian faith, there exist numerous worldview questions regarding the Buddhism religion. For instance, one of the issues of concern is the claims of Buddha that life is full suffering which a lot of people seem to have an opposite opinion about it. Buddhists are beginning to understand and embrace hardship experiences and no longer see it as a suffering. That is something that has brought a lot of controversy in this religion which is still based on the notion that life is full of pain and has little or no positive value on an individual. Buddhism followers are currently having many doubts regarding the ability of the Eight Fold Path to alleviate suffering from the human kind (Kozak, 2015). On the question relating to the reality of life, Buddhists believe in Nirvana. They place little or no value in this world and consider it as unreal and the dream of some kind. On the question regarding what a human being is, Buddhists believe that everyone is one under Nirvana and the personality of an individual is underplayed. When it comes to the matter concerning how people know the truth about the world and everything in it, Buddhists profoundly believe that the ultimate is unknowable and unknown. Another worldview question in this religion is what comprises right and wrong action. Buddhists believe that there exists no objective standard regarding what is acceptable and not acceptable hence both good and bad are relative. The question about what happens once a Buddhists dies is similarly a major worldview. Buddhists believe that once a person dies, he or she becomes reborn in another continuous cycle of rebirth-reincarnation (Moacanin, 2013). According to this religion, the dead continue enduring the consequences of their behaviors while they were in the world. On the other hand, individuals who succeed in progressing in the enlightenment steps always escape this cycle into Nirvana where the personality of a person will become one with the ultimate reality.
Religious Interpretation of Nature of George’s Malady and Suffering
According to the Christian religion, George’s maladies and suffering are just temporal tests by God to make him and everyone who happens to know George’s situation become aware how powerful God is and his control over everything including terrible illnesses. The Christians believe that God gives a person a challenge that He knows one will be able to bear and overcome. Some of the reasons that may have triggered this ailment in George may be his past evil deeds. As a result, he may be suffering from this disease as a way of punishment from God. That may be a possible explanation of why George is ill beyond the actual reality of physical malady.
According to Buddhism, George’s sickness and pain is a clear indicator of the fact that life is full of suffering and that his ailment is not attributable to any superhuman efforts but rather the universal reality of what the life entails. Hence this religion is of the opinion that there is no significant cause of Gorge’s malady and suffering beyond the reality of the physical sickness and it is more of the part of things and issues one has to go through during his or her lifetime in this world.
George’s Analysis of His Life
According to the Christian religion, George has been doing great community work such as coaching his son’s basketball league. He has also served people both as an attorney and a teacher in one of the local university law schools in Oregon. Such acts show his strong Christian qualities hence this religion considers George’s life as a person as of great importance to the society due to the help he has given to the community. This religion still terms George’s life once he is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis as still of great importance to the community and him becoming speechless, immobile and unable to do anything for himself does not make him become less of a person than others. Christians believe that all individuals are equal before both God and man and no one is superior that the other despite physical appearance, race, gender or religion.
On the other hand, Buddhism religion considers the value of George’s life as a person of great importance just before he suffers from the terrible diseases. His actions of supporting the basketball league by coaching them, solving legal problems of his clients and teaching students in the law the community school are all the key indicators of his greatness and benefit to the community and the country as whole. However, this perception of George’s life by the Buddhists changes soon after he suffers from the ALS disease. This religion which has a low opinion of the disabled individuals in the society starts viewing George as a burden to both his family and the society as a whole. He is no longer considered as an important person in the society hence increasing the chances of him getting discriminated in the community by others.
Values And Considerations for Euthanasia
According to Christianity, it is entirely wrong to assist someone to die as this is a violation of the sanctity of the human life which is against God’s commandments. The value of any human life according to Christianity is entirely priceless hence George should not even think about choosing euthanasia as a way to end his suffering as he and anyone assisting him in completing this mission will be denying God’s power and presence who is the real giver and taker of life (Melton & Manning, 2014).
However, in the Buddhism religion, euthanasia is an appropriate and allowed way of ending suffering in someone’s life. A spiritual leader by the name Dalai Lama backed the use of euthanasia in some exceptional circumstances under Buddhist philosophy. This religion also considers such facts as helping someone end his or her suffering through the aid of a physician and hence encourage George to go with the option of taking euthanasia as a way of putting an end to his suffering and preventing his family from this suffering who automatically become victims.
According to the Christian faith, the teachings of the Bible which are the primary guide for all Christians prove that George should not take the euthanasia option. On the other hand, the Buddhism believes that it is morally right to help one in ending the suffering as stated in the Buddhism philosophy (Tymieniecka & Agazzi, 2012). For this reason, this religion highly advises George to take the euthanasia option which helps in sparing both him and his family from suffering from the effects of this disease.
I highly believe that all religions should be in support of euthanasia as a way of bringing to an end the human suffering, but this should only be used under unavoidable circumstances. Such cases include those in which a patient is diagnosed with a disease that has no treatment, and this disease should be that it induces a lot of pain on the patient despite him or her being under medication (Melton & Manning, 2014). Euthanasia helps in stopping this suffering in the patients and also prevents the family members from incurring substantial financial burden on someone who will eventually die soon. For this matter, the patient should be given the best memorable time to spend with his or her family during his last days before the euthanasia ends the suffering to an end.
Adrian, W., Roberts, M. E., Wenyika, R., & McCarthy, D. (2013). Engaging Our World: Christian Worldview From the Ivory Tower to Global Impact. Tulsa, OK: W & S Academic Press.
Barry, V. E. (2017). Philosophical Thinking About Death And Dying. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Kozak, A., & Kozak, A. (2015). The Everything Essential Buddhism Book: a Guide to the Fundamental Beliefs And Traditions of Buddhism, Past And Present. Avon, MA: Adams Media.
Melton, J. G., & Manning, C. (2014). The Churches Speak on–Euthanasia: Official Statements from Religious Bodies And Ecumenical Organizations. Detroit: Gale Research.
Moacanin, R. (2013). The Essence of Jung’s Psychology And Tibetan Buddhism: Western And Eastern Paths to the Heart. Boston: Wisdom Publications.
Tymieniecka, A., & Agazzi, E. (2012). Life: Interpretation And the Sense of Illness Within the Human Condition: Medicine And Philosophy in a Dialogue. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic .