Analysis of Case Study; End of Life Decisions
Human life on earth is a temporary duration with rewards and punishments according to deeds earned here. Life is a combination of joy and grief. Sometimes sufferings become so severe that people think about ending their life through medication. Such actions have no place in the Christian worldview, and biblical teachings urge humans to bear pain with patience. Life is a blessing of God, and none is allowed to take his life or assist to end the life of anyone else. Medication for relief purposes is encouraged, but choosing euthanasia is sinful and prohibited.
Analysis of Case Study; End of Life Decisions
Specific incidents confront in life that are usually unexpected. Human beings think and consider various counter approaches in this regard. Most of the personals in such situations get closer to religion, but some have different arguments in this aspect. The same is embedded in the case study under consideration, where some medical complications suddenly change the life of a person named George. His sufferings force him to choose the euthanasia option. This analysis paper will revolve around the suffering of human beings in terms of the Christian worldview regarding the fallen-ness of the world, the hope of resurrection, the value of life, justified options and personal decisions to relieve severe pain.
Suffering and Fallen-ness of the World:
The story of George looks like a general story of any working person in society. He was an experienced and capable advocate who was fulfilling his duties efficiently. Apparently, he had no medical history, but he had broken his hip bone due to an accidental move. Upon medical diagnosis, he was declared a patient of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Zucchi et al. (2019) reported that the said disease is fatal; having degenerative affects mainly on brain cells and spinal tissues. Other than that, persons suffering from this disease undergo muscular degeneration. In this aspect, within months, patients are forced into wheelchairs with ceased muscular movements. Eventually, the patients can only move their eyelashes or provide facial gestures until death. The condition of such a patient leads to painless life, having to wait for death as in the case of George. Such a situation is called euthanasia.
However, such a severe health condition leads a person to a dichotomous situation. One either seek God’s help with solid faith or diverts towards the opposite opinion. In this context, the role and responsibility of healthcare staff increase many times as they have to align patients according to their belief system. It is noteworthy that the faith line of any person directly links the possible solution to the trouble. So the ending of life regarding any patient vests with the patient’s belief system. Meanwhile, the Christian worldview forbids humanity to end their lives themselves. God has planned all the incidents according to His knowledge, and none is allowed to commit suicide, whatever the matter may be.
Specifically, in the case of George, God has nothing to do with his sufferings. George should consider his sufferings as part of that glorious plan under which the universal system is embedded. His sufferings are a minor part of this gigantic system beyond human wisdom. So George must have to consider this trouble as Gods plan. He is the one who bestows life, health, prosperity as well as suffering. So George must believe that his sufferings will have an end.
Suffering and the Hope of Resurrection:
Meanwhile, regarding the concept of ‘hope of the resurrection’, the Christian worldview guides humans in a crystal clear direction in George’s case. Though several concepts prevail in society, all have the same destination, i.e. God’s will. The first ideal directs that the sufferings of George are due to his sins. It is the punishment of his sins or his forefathers. The ultimate remedy is to repent before God by asking for forgiveness. Another narrative of the Christian worldview dictates that all the sufferings of human beings have the purpose of making them realize Christ’s suffering. Similarly, the third view plugs out the spiritual pollution of humans that ultimately transforms into suffering. These views eventually lead humans toward God by making their faith and relation strong. The final destination of all these views is the path of Christ and piousness. In this regard, the Biblical view directs humans to move towards God as He is the one who can overcome their sufferings and troubles (Ridenour, 2019). So, George has to bow before God repent for his sins, realize the sufferings of Christ and improve his spiritual heights. The right path in this aspect is strictly following the Bible and its teachings.
Moreover, George has to gratify God due to his blessings upon him as He has provided George with a chance to streamline his affairs. Undoubtedly, God has plans that are above human understanding. So, George has been given the opportunity to relinquish sins and earn virtues. Eventually, his sins will be forgiven, and his destination will move towards a dual option. According to the Christian worldview, the first option is to blessings of healing for him. In case of death he will be rewarded with the heavens, the company of people with Christ. In both cases, George will be of real benefit along with the wealth of faith and belief in God.
Value of his Life:
Furthermore, the importance of life as a gift from God can only be imagined and cherished if a man imagines fear of its loss. Vesely (2019) deduced that Christian worldview declares the life of humans a matchless gift from God. That is why every person has a dual obligation regarding the safety of life on this earth. According to the Biblical viewpoint, a human is bound to save his life and is strictly prohibited from taking others. The end of self-life or snatching others is one of the biggest sins on the earth. According to Christ teachings, this life is a temporary stance to lead given time as an ordeal or test. Real-life will be initiated after death, and the nature of that life will be decided based on actions earned in this life. The ultimate destination in this aspect is heaven or hell, which would be eternal. The afterlife belief is one of the major faiths of Christianity, and the troubles, turmoil, sufferings, illness and sorrows of this world will be rewarded heavens after death.
So in this context, all humans are expected to bear and endure all the pains and troubles of life as Christ did in his life. George has to volunteer to accept the sufferings with patience and gratitude toward God regarding this Biblical aspect. He must step down from the idea and practice of euthanasia. It is a suicide and forbidden act in Christianity and against the dignity of humans. According to the Christian view, a man has to face the dejectedness and grieves of this world with great courage and never thinks about ending his life. So the medication in this aspect to end one’s life is tragic, pathetic and against the teachings of Christ. Finally, George should move towards Christ’s will instead of his will or desire.
Christian worldview revolves around the teachings of the holy book. In the case of euthanasia, most people try to justify it based on the intensity of suffering or dependency on others. But the Biblical view does not support such arguments at any cost. The Ten Commandments vividly restrict killing oneself or any other living. So assisting others to execute euthanasia is the type of murder under the Biblical instructions. However, at the same time, God is a life-giver and taker. So George’s belief in this context is the decisive force to execute euthanasia. If he appeases God as the superior entity in his life, he should abide by the law of God. It is noteworthy that George should consider the next life instead of this earthly life. If he commits suicide, his next life will be a hell of continuous suffering, according to the teachings of Christianity. So he did not commit suicide in the name of suffering and turmoil at all.
Morally Justified Options:
However, in such a pathetic situation of pain and suffering, it looks the religious approach has left him helpless. According to the Christian worldview, volunteer euthanasia is a sin and forbidden. So George is justified in setting aside his religious obligations and ending his life. But in reality, it is not the actual game. Christian teachings urge George to take proper medicines to secure his life and relieve his pain. Cure option through medication for a better life is not prohibited; instead, it is recommended. So morally and religiously, George is fully justified to opt for medication for better life and cure but not for euthanasia. Medication for relief purposes may reduce pain and suffering in this aspect.
According to my belief and faith as a Christian, I will never dare take my life. If I were George, I would go for medication to relieve pain instead of ending life. Similarly, health care staff should also convince George to avoid euthanasia. The holy book commands us to live life according to God’s will, and it is the amalgamation of sorrow and joy. Meanwhile, the final destination would be decided on the Day of Judgment. The biblical view explains that earthly life is a test, and humans have to bear the sufferings and pain for a better reward in the heavens, as Christ practically demonstrated. So in case I was George, I would go for strengthening my faith in God and try my level best to seek forgiveness of my sins. I would bear the pain and try to relive it through a medical cure. My faith in God, Christ and life after death will be my strong chains to hold firmly. After choosing the medication options, I will get closer to my God and leave the rest to him.
Ridenour, A. A. (2019). Suffering, death, and the significance of presence. In Treating the Body in Medicine and Religion (pp. 184-196). Routledge.
Vesely, P. L. (2019). Virtue and the “Good Life” in the Book of Job. Horizons in Biblical Theology, 41(1), 1-24.
Zucchi, E., Ticozzi, N., & Mandrioli, J. (2019). Psychiatric symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: beyond a motor neuron disorder. Frontiers in neuroscience, 13, 175.