Religion Interpretation of the George’s Case
The research has found that most religious faiths affect the provision of health care among the physicians, doctors and other healthcare providers. George’s case is not different when perceived from the lenses of religious beliefs. In George’s scenario, there is a likelihood of both Christianity and Buddhism having different positions regarding his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) condition that has influenced him to consider voluntary euthanasia. In the same light; this paper strives to explore George’s scenario from both the perspective of the Christianity and Buddhism.
Religion Interpretation of the George’s Case
Historically, Christianism has witnessed a hot debate on its perception towards pain, suffering death and the most suitable ways to confront frailty and sicknesses (Fitzpatrick, et al., 2016). Severally, Christians have argued that pain and suffering have important value and may represent a transformation to the religious adherent. Those who hold to this argument base their notion on Jesus’s suffering. The suffering and death of Jesus are seen as a redemption to humankind problems. Therefore, Christianity attributes the individual suffering to the Jesus to depict that the pain someone is going through is for the purpose. For George’s case, the Christians would argue that there that his suffering is for the purpose of fulfilling adherent to the religion and therefore, he should accept it. The Christianism position on George’s suffering goes against the beneficence principles which requires health care providers to do whatever they can do to relieve the patient the pain. THIS IS A SAMPLE ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Occasionally, Christians have used the story of Lazarus and Job to prove that Christians should stay faithful irrespective of the pain they go through since at the end of the day they will be rewarded for adhering to the God’s will. Lazarus underwent serious illness, hunger, and pain before his death. However, four days after he died he was resurrected by Jesus. On the other side, Job went through sickness and lost his property including his children. His wife told him to rebuke God and die. However, Job stayed faithful to God and the end of the day God healed and restored all his property including children. Through Lazarus and Job’s suffering and pain, Christians would tell George that God is in absolute control of his life and therefore, he should accept his pain and suffering irrespective of the advice given by the doctor.
Unlike Christians, Buddhism religion accepts the usage of medicine to relieve pain and suffering. Buddhism position conforms to the beneficence principle. According to Harvey (2006), Buddhists do not desist medicine that is deemed helpful for the survival of an individual. Therefore, in George’s case, the Buddhism would support the doctor’s prescription since it will help to eradicate the pain and suffering. However, studies show that some Buddhist may reject some medicines, especially if they are deemed to cause emotional discomfort of the mind and as a result interfere with the 5th which states that individuals should refrain from undertaking any intoxication that might interfere with the normal function of the mind (Harvey, 2006). Nevertheless, the applicability of the 5th percept is ignored if the individual is not likely to engage in harmful acts when intoxicated. Therefore, any prescribed treatment or medicine that may contain intoxicating content but helps to reduce pain and suffering is acceptable. However, some Buddhists prefer alternative medication to the intoxicated ones or else reject the prescribed medication.
Based on the Buddhism view of health care, it is evident that it supports George’s proposed medication to overcome the suffering and pain. According to Buddhist, suffering, and pain are caused by the ignorance of truth (Yu-Hsi, 2006). The notion of the good fortune (miracles) influence individuals to ignore illness, misfortunes, and pain. Therefore, people should accept that pain and suffering are real and seeks for the best possible ways to overcome them. From the Buddhist point of view, George’s suffering has been caused by his ignorance of the truth. According to the Buddhism religion, George suffering and pain has been caused by his failure to adhere to the true nature of the world and instead he has focused on his wealth, body opinions and thoughts which have caused him all the suffering.
Religions’ Values on Georges Life and His Life with ALS
Christianity really values human life, sees life as precious and sacred. The attitude of Christianity towards life is determined by the nature of human life. From the Christianism perspective, George’s life as a person will be seen as sacred and precious. Christians believe that individuals are created with the image of God and therefore as God, they should take care of all people’s lives. Therefore, George should engage in taking care of the God’s creation including the disadvantaged in the society and spreading the word of God since God has granted him worthy health. According to Christians, God maintains individuals’ health so that they can praise him and continue undertaking is work. As a result, George should also use his life to fulfill the meaning of life as enshrined in the bible which is loving and doing well to others.
Christianism will perceive the sick George as a person who is being prepared to become the bride of the Christ. Christians believe that God allows his people to suffer to prepare them for holiness. The Christian will also view George’s suffering as an act of God of preparing others to advance comfort to others who may experience the similar suffering. As depicted in the case scenario, George ALS condition will contribute to loss of speech, movement, unable to eat and breath. With ALS condition, George will be unable to anything for himself. Christians see this as an opportunity for other people who have suffered similar illness to administer comfort to George. Christianism also perceives the suffering of George as a lesson by God that individuals should develop humbleness before God. According to Christians, individual suffering can be used to manifest the God’s strengths and prove that he has control over people’s lives. Since George is at his mid-fifties and the ALS condition as likely to affect him more as he ages, the suffering may be God’s exhibition that he is being preferred to enter the heaven.
Like Christians, Buddhists have a huge value on the individual’s life. The Buddhists will perceive George’s person’s life as a life for humankind. According to the Buddhists, the purpose of the life is to advance human society. Therefore, George should use his life to improve the human race since it is the only way the meaning of life can be showcased. From the Buddhists’ point of view, George should continue teaching in Oregon in addition to basketball coaching. George can also extend his knowledge and expertise in teaching and coaching to help the community because by doing so he will be exhibiting the real meaning of life. Buddhists believe that a healthy person should aspire to develop all humanity and work towards benefiting the majority in the society.
Buddhism will view the ailing George as the person who is supposed to be taken care of. Buddhists believe that Buddha told his disciples to take care of the sick. Buddhists inspiration to help the sick and ill comes from the Buddha’s word that whoever attends to the sick attends to the Buddha too. According to the case scenario, with ALS condition George will be helpless and therefore should be accorded the greatest care. Showing kindness to the sick speeds up the recovery process just like the proper medication does (Yu-Hsi, 2006). From the Buddhists’ perspective, George is a needy and helpless person who should be showered with kindness to bring comfort and hope to him as he struggles with the severe condition.
Religions Views on George’s Euthanasia Option
Christianism do not support euthanasia since it terms live as sacred and precious. From the Christian perspective, George should not opt for euthanasia because his suffering and pain have the purpose. Christians argue that human life portrays the God’s image and therefore, no individual has the authority to terminate it (Fitzpatrick, et al., 2016). At this point, Christianism agrees with the non-maleficence principle if doing no harm to the patient. Christianity religion holds that an individual’s life is given by God and it is the only God who has the authority to take it. Christians go further by arguing that an individual is not autonomous, but part of the community. Therefore, the decision of euthanasia will affect other people who are close to or feels connected to George. George’s body is not his, but God’s in the Ten Commandments God stipulates that people should not commit murder. Christianity rejects autonomy principle that allows patients to have control over their bodies. For George having an assisted euthanasia or taking his life by himself violates the God’s sixth commandment that not has authority take his/her own life other person’s life.
Buddhists’ have mixed reactions concerning euthanasia or self-murder. The traditional Buddhism rejects self-murder by arguing that a healthy living is as a result of abstaining from the destruction of life be it one’s life, another personal life or animals’. The traditional position on euthanasia applies to all people in the society ranging from the monks to the laymen and laywomen (Harvey, 2006). However, the modern Buddhism appears to accept euthanasia, but only if the illness is considered terminal, the pain is unbearable, the self-murder will facilitate peaceful passing, the person has requested for the euthanasia, it is done by the doctor and the method used is humane. Buddhism will agree with the autonomy principle. Based on the two Buddhism positions, George can opt for euthanasia from the lenses of modern Buddhism, but not traditional Buddhism. THIS IS A SAMPLE ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Justifiable Option and Each Religion
In Christianity, George will be justified to continue living irrespective of the consequences of the ALS condition. Christianism opine that George should accept to be in a wheelchair even he will be unable to speak, eat, move or breathe by himself. Christians believe that God has a purpose to put George in suffering and pain and therefore, he should accept the God’s will. On the other side, the Buddhist will support the euthanasia option. The Buddhist justifies euthanasia if the illness is considered terminal, the pain is unbearable, the self-murder will facilitate peaceful passing, the person has requested for the euthanasia. Buddhism conforms to the justice principle that medical decisions should be fair. George’s condition meets all the Buddhists’ legalization of euthanasia.
From my own point of view, George should opt for euthanasia in case he is diagnosed with ALS. George is on his mid-fifties and it is evident that he has made several achievements in life. Therefore, letting himself go, will not be a big loss to the society and his family as well. Secondly, the ALS condition will cause a lot of suffering to George. It is unimaginable how a normal and grown-up person cannot stay in a wheelchair being unable to eat, breathe or move in addition to the unbearable pain caused by the illness. It would be better for George to opt for euthanasia instead of enduring a never-ending pain and being a burden to others. Sometimes it is justifiable and fair to let someone go since he or she will have peaceful passing rather than living in pain, suffering, and distress.
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Harvey, C. (2006). A Buddhist Perspective on Health and Spirituality. Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy, 9(1), 33-35.
Yu-Hsi, C. (2006). Coping With Suffering: The Buddhist Perspective. In P. Wong, & L. Wong, Handbook of Multicultural Perspectives on Stress and Coping (pp. 73-89). New York: Springer.