Christian Interpretation of the nature of Gorge's maladay and suffering
The most important precept of the Christian worldview is that the individuals should believe as well as hold the “Word Of God” to be completely true (Bible, 2000). Thus, the Christian individuals are required to lead their lives as per the dictum of the “Word Of God”. Furthermore, the Bible states that all human beings are the creation of God and it is against His wish to hurt or kill other individuals including oneself (Bible, 2000). Moreover, Christianity also states that the present condition or the state of a particular individual are the end results of his or her conscious or unconscious actions in the past or at present (Bible, 2000). In addition to these, another important precept of the Christian worldview is its focus on the family and thereby it states that a particular individual should try to do the kind of actions, which are likely to bring happiness as well as joy to the different members of the family.
The case study describes George as a successful lawyer as well as a family man. He even takes active interest in the basketball games of his son and provides guidance and advises him the means by which he can improve his game. However, he finds out that he is afflicted with ALS and the worst part is that at the current moment there is not effective cure for this particular disease. The treatments, which the patients get slow down the disease but within the course of 3 to 5 years the patients loses the muscle coordination of his body and thereby dies. The thing, which most bothers George, is the fact that he would have to depend on his family for his most basic needs and thus he has taken the decision to go ahead with the process of euthanasia (Trappe, 2017).
Christianity would view the life of George as close to be perfect as it is deeply rooted in the various precepts as well as the doctrines of the Christian worldview. As per the Christian worldview, the malady and the suffering that George is going through are the end-result of the past or the present acts of his (Bible, 2000). According to the precepts of Christian worldview, the decision of George to go ahead with the process of euthanasia is completely wrong since the Bible clearly states that the human beings are the creation of God and the right to take the life of the human beings solely rests within the power of God Himself (Bible, 2000). Thus, the act of euthanasia would not only place George against the dictums of the Christian worldview but also against the God Himself since the Christian worldview considers life to be sacred and its destruction to be totally against the wish of God.
Buddhist Interpretation of the nature of Gorge's maladay and suffering
According to the Buddhist religion, suffering is an unavoidable aspect of human life (Lewis, 2016). Although Buddhist and Christianity are two different religions, both of them share identical views in the domain of physical malady and suffering (Lewis, 2016). Here George is unable to avoid ALS as it is a share of suffering in personal life during the process of ageing. In Buddhism, suffering is observed as a continuous or inevitable process, which cannot be avoided. Mental strength is a significant part in the Buddhist religion that helps during suffering. This is because, it provides the patients the time to reconsider the choices they made in life. According to Lewis (2016), it is not illness, on contrary is the response to the physical illness which holds spiritual significance in Buddhist religion. In Buddhism, the law of karma, says “for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful” (Lewis, 2016). Thus, the present illness that George is facing is the result of his own actions, which he had committed either consciously or unconsciously. Furthermore, another important preaching of Buddha is the fact that “Whoever serves the sick and suffering, serves me” (Lewis, 2016). Therefore, it becomes unethical on the part of George to deprive his family to serve Buddha or the Almighty by means of serving him during the time of his illness. In addition to these, Buddha says that the human beings need to go through the cycles of rebirth and reincarnations and endure the resultant pain in order to attain the stage of Nirvana, which he defined as the release from pain and suffering (Lewis, 2016). George, in the case study provided, by means of going through the process of euthanasia is simply looking to avoid the pain and the suffering and thereby to bifurcate the cycles of rebirth and reincarnations. This particular act of George therefore, is likely to impact the process of his attainment of the stage of Nirvana, that Buddha believed all human beings should try to achieve. Moreover, the concept of sila, which also forms an important part of the doctrine of Christianity, insists on the process of virtuous behavior on the part of the individuals (Lewis, 2016). However, the course of action, which George has undertaken is contrary to this precept of both the religions (Paterson, 2017). Therefore, it would be appropriate to say that the proposed action is contrary to the Samma kammanta precept of Buddhism.
Religion and the values of George
The major religions of the world have one thing in common, namely, all of them try to follow the concept of Principlism and its four basic precepts, namely, Autonomy, Beneficence, Nonmaleficence and Justice (Beauchamp, 2016). The given case study clearly indicates that George has led his life as per the doctrines of the Christianity as well as the precepts of Principlism (Beauchamp, 2016). The dictums of the religion of Christianity would require George to continue with the course of his life even after getting the illness since taking his life is totally out of the question as it is against the preaching of God. The religion of Buddhism, on the other hand, views suffering as an important part of the lives of the human beings and as a gateway by means of which the human beings can attain the stage of Nirvana. Therefore, the religion of Buddhism would also require George to continue with his life inspite of getting inflicted with the illness ALS since the suffering which he is likely to incur would lead him to Nirvana.
Values and Euthanasia
Christianity is based on the seven questions which forms an important part of its worldview. The individuals are required to question their individual actions of the basis of each of seven questions. The action, which George is hoping to undertake is against this particular doctrine. The most important precepts of Christianity are virtuous behavior and acting in accordance to the preaching of God. The Bible itself states that God created the entire world and life and death are His sole authority. The act of euthanasia, on the other hand, would require George to take the help of medicinal means to end his own life (Cuman & Gastmans, 2017). Thus, the act of killing himself and even inflicting torture would be against the dictum of God.
Buddhism, on the other hand, views suffering as an inseparable part of the lives of the human beings and sees it as an entity, which is likely to lead the human beings towards the stage of Nirvana. Thus, the religion of Buddhism would require George to endure the suffering which the illness have inflicted upon him as it is likely to lead him towards the path of Nirvana. The proposed euthanasia is likely to disturb the cycle of rebirth and reincarnation and thus would hamper the chances of George of attaining Nirvana.
Religions and options for George
According to the precepts of both the religions of Christianity and Buddhism the best course of action which is available to George is to carry on with his life and consider the illness which has befallen his lot as an opportunity to repent the sins that has been committed either knowingly or unknowingly. Furthermore, this would also be in accordance with the percept that suffering is essential for the attainment of salvation. Thus, George should give up the idea of euthanasia and think about living the rest of his life as per the doctrines of religion.
I personally believe that the decision, which George has taken is not only unsound but at the same time is against the precepts of the various religions. I believe that ending one’s life is the best possible option and thus George should try to live the rest of life in the best possible, which would bring joy as well as happiness to not only his family members but also his friends and colleagues as well. Furthermore, this particular decision would also be in synchronization with the precepts of the various worldviews as well.
Healthcare is a universal profession and thus it is inevitable that the healthcare service provides will come in close contact with the people from different regions and diverse religious faiths. However, irrespective of the cultural and religion background, a healthcare service provider should nurture neutral attitude towards patient's believes and must work with compassion in order to assist the healthcare service users to enjoy quality care while abiding by this religious and cultural faith. The following assignment is a critical consideration of the ethics and viewpoints from Christianity and Buddhism in George's case. After the critical evaluation of the worldviews from two different religious faiths, the assignment will provide a personal reflection from the perspective of the author belief and interpretation of euthanasia.
Beauchamp, T. L. (2016). Principlism in Bioethics. In Bioethical Decision Making and Argumentation (pp. 1-16). Springer, Cham.
Bible, H. (2000). King James Version. Texas: National Publishing Company.
Cuman, G., & Gastmans, C. (2017). Minors and euthanasia: a systematic review of argument-based ethics literature. European journal of pediatrics, 176(7), 837-847.
Lewis, T. (Ed.). (2016). Teaching Buddhism: New Insights on Understanding and Presenting the Traditions. Oxford University Press.
Paterson, C. (2017). Assisted suicide and euthanasia: a natural law ethics approach. Routledge.
Trappe, H. J. (2017). Ethics in intensive care and euthanasia: With respect to inactivating defibrillators at the end of life in terminally ill patients. Medizinische Klinik, Intensivmedizin und Notfallmedizin, 112(3), 214-221.