Case Study on Death and Dying: End of Life Decisions
Chronic diseases can have devastating negative effects on individuals because of the consequences associated with them on their health and other areas of life like financial resources and their overall health status. These individuals may make decisions at the end of life based on their worldview which contains a set of beliefs, perspectives, and positions on critical issues that affect their lives. Healthcare providers in such situations must understand these worldviews, such as Christianity, and what they advance in such issues (Falque, 2020). Patients with terminal conditions may undergo psychological issues with some opting for euthanasia. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the case study of George, a successful attorney in his mid-fifties, recently diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); a degenerative condition that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Because of its effects which include eventual paralysis and disability, George starts contemplating the possibility of voluntary euthanasia. The paper explores the case using a Christian worldview narrative with emphasis on the creation account and the fall of man.
Interpretation of George’s Suffering with an Emphasis on the Fallenness of the World
The Christian narrative discusses critical events and happenings that shaped the Christian faith and worldview. The narrative entails the creation account, the fall of man due to the origin of Sin, redemption through Jesus Christ’s suffering and crucifixion, and restoration through His death and resurrection. According to the Christian narrative, the Fallenness of the world occurred due to the Original Sin committed by the first people created by God; Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed Him and ate the forbidden fruit. The disobedience demonstrated the rejection of God to rule and control them leading to the breaking of Shalom or peaceful coexistence with God. Consequently, God pronounced suffering on man (Falque, 2020). The disobedience led to the declaration of death and man estranged himself from God. Imperatively, diseases, suffering, and death became part of human life. As such, George should interpret his suffering because of the ALS diagnosis as part of human life due to the sinfulness of man. George should know that man suffers and dies as part of his life on this earth as pronounced by God. George should accept the suffering as a personal experience that God may want to use to demonstrate His power because He is the only one who can take life away.
Christians believe that while suffering is devastating, it is a critical part of one’s faith and God usually rewards the suffering. Christians advance that while man sinned, one cannot get redemption from Jesus Christ. Just like through one person, sin and its consequences entered the world, and so through one man, Jesus Christ, they can get redemption through His healing (Delio, 2020). Therefore, George should interpret his suffering as a core aspect of his existence in this world. The suffering may be meant to test his faith in God and he should allow it to take its course, despite the negative aspects like pain and a possible disability. The world is filled with evil and suffering and human beings are afflicted with pain and different bad things arising from both natural and human-made features. Therefore, George should interpret all these things and understand that his suffering due to ALS is not strange or unique but a core part of his existence and experience in the world. He should be resilient and focus on his faith in God.
Week 4 – Case Study On Death And Dying
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.
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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. An abstract is required.
This assignment uses a rubric.You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite.
1. Bioethics: A Primer for Christians
Read Chapters 6 and 12 in Bioethics: A Primer for Christians.
2. Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing
Read Chapters 10-12 in Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing.
3. Defining Death: Medical, Legal and Ethical Issues in the Determination of Death
Read the Introduction and Chapters 1-3 of “Defining Death: Medical, Legal and Ethical Issues in the Determination of Death” by the President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research (1984).
- Analysis of how the man would interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative and the fallenness of the world is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials. 12%
- Analysis of how the man would interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative and the hope of resurrection is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials. 12%
- Analysis of how the Christian worldview of the man might inform his view about the value of his life as a person with ALS is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials.12%
- Evaluation of which values and considerations the Christian worldview focuses on when deliberating the option of euthanasia for the man is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials. 12%
- Evaluation of which options would be justified in the Christian worldview for the man is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials. 12%
- Reflection hypothesis of which personal choices would be make if faced with ALS based on personal worldview is clear, relevant, and insightful. 10%
- Thesis is comprehensive and contains the essence of the paper. Thesis statement makes the purpose of the paper clear. 7%
- Clear and convincing argument presents a persuasive claim in a distinctive and compelling manner. All sources are authoritative. 8%
- Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English. 5%
- All format elements are correct.5%
- Sources are completely and correctly documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is free of error. 5%
As many nurses can relate to, the onslaught of Covid-19 patients caused a mass healthcare emergency. Critically ill patients kept coming and coming and not enough beds or nurses were available to keep up with the surge. During that time, there was much unknown about what the virus we were dealing with was and much was unknown about how to help these suffering patients. During that time, death became an increasing reality. Each shift, one could expect to hear the sound of a body bag being zipped up as someone’s loved one passed away. As a new intensive care nurse during that time (April 2020), I was unsure why I chose to become a nurse when it seemed that all I did was fail at helping these sick patients recover from the virus. It was tough to not take it personally when the treatments failed, and the patient died. However, during that pivotal time, I learned an important lesson. I am not in control of how long a person lives. It is my job to comfort and help as much as possible, but at the end of the day, God is the one in control of life and death.
As the Covid-19 numbers decreased and times went somewhat back to normal, it became a challenge to not have an emotional response when a critically ill patient did not survive. It is as if all of the emotional turmoil from many deaths has been shoved down and peeks its head up every once in a while, when not expected. Another lesson learned during the time of increased covid causalities was learning just how important a peaceful death is to the families surrounding the patient. I have learned that these families often find peace knowing their family member is comfortable as they take their last breathes. A positive death experience is as important to the patient as it is to the family.
One experience that sticks with me was a patient that was severely ill and was placed on life support. The family knew that the treatment was not what their family member would have wanted so life support was withdrawn per their request. The patient’s favorite music was initiated, and the family told stories about the amazing life their family member had led. The patient then passed peacefully to “Remember When” by Alan Jackson with their family surrounding the bed. There was no suffering, just peace and calm amidst grief.
The following references are studies that I found interesting on the topic of death and dying.
Boissier, F., Seegers, V., Seguin, A., Legriel, S., Cariou, A., Jaber, S., Lefrant, J. Y., Rimmelé, T., Renault, A., Vinatier, I., Mathonnet, A., Reuter, D., Guisset, O., Cracco, C., Durand-Gasselin, J., Éon, B., Thirion, M., Rigaud, J. P., Philippon-Jouve, B., Argaud, L., … Kentish-Barnes, N. (2020). Assessing physicians’ and nurses’ experience of dying and death in the ICU: development of the CAESAR-P and the CAESAR-N instruments. Critical care (London, England), 24(1), 521. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13054-020-03191-z
Caillet, A., Coste, C., Sanchez, R., & Allaouchiche, B. (2020). Psychological impact of COVID-19 on ICU caregivers. Anesthesia critical care & pain medicine. 39(6), 717-722. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.accpm.2020.08.006
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