Instructions:

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.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style.

 

Case Study

Every human being has to face difficulties at some point in their life. Health care providers occupy a unique place in society. They have to make choices that directly determine whether an individual dies or lives. This choice is complicated by the diversity of the patient’s religion. To make decisions that involve death and terminal illnesses, nurses should ensure that the patient’s wishes are respected and that he/she understands all possible courses of action and their impact.

Before discussing the understanding of maladies by different religions, it is important to reveal their main principles. According to Christian beliefs, life is sacred, and everything should be done to save it. In the gospels, God sent his only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save human lives. Speaking about Judaism, life is also seen as sanctified, and everyone has to preserve and protect it. However, in Judaism, there is more strictness. For instance, an action that does not uphold life is strongly condemned, and killing is punishable by death. Thus failure of a practitioner to save life leads to his/her punishment. In Christianity, such the actions will not be punishable, but all the efforts to save life are expected here. Therefore, the religious beliefs may drive the health worker to disobey the decisions of the patient and his family members (Shelly & Miller, 2006, p. 35).

In George’s case, only the treatment and care he has agreed on should be administered to him. Thus none religion has to tempt a health care provider to give the patient experimental drugs if he has only agreed to palliative care in order to ease his pain so that he may die decently. A decision by the health seeking party has to be obeyed, irrespective of practitioners’ beliefs.

Moreover, from the Christian point of view, God is almighty, and decisions on whether or not an individual should die or live are only left to him. In the book of Genesis, God breathed life into Adam, thus giving life to a man. This is one of the pillars of Christianity. Therefore, taking life away is equivalent to challenging God that is an unforgivable sin (Topor, 2017).

Furthermore, a person is expected to help in Christianity. One of the greatest laws in this religion is to love the neighbor as you love yourself. It is a biblical role of a Christian to help anyone in need. In Judaism, God is also regarded as a sole source of life. However, members of the Judaic community are allowed to take another person’s life if he is a sinner. Thieves and other criminals are punished by being stoned here that is also bound to the principle of helping the others. The sick and outcasts are looked down upon by the leaders and excommunicated from the others. As a result, in both religions, George though terminally ill with a neurodegenerative disease cannot be deprived of life by his relatives and health providers as it is a God’s job. Similarly, it is even a big sin for George to consider a suicide. He should wait for God to make this decision.
Apart from that, in the Christian belief, George’s sufferings and challenges are viewed as the God’s will. They are believed to strengthen his faith (Kaye et al., 2015).

Christians think that life has a considerable importance no matter whether a person is terminally ill or healthy. However, in Judaism, George’s value of life is lower as he has ALS. Judaists believe that a terminally ill person must have done something wrong to evoke God’s anger. Hence his life is of a lesser value than that of a healthy person or a person with a treatable disease. Thus it is possible to draw a conclusion that in Judaism life of a terminally ill individual is importance little valued while in Christianity it is of great importance. Although euthanasia is illegitimate in both religions, this should be set aside as a healthcare provision must be based on the patient’s decision. Therefore, if George chooses euthanasia, a practitioner has to do, but only in case it if it is legitimized in the country.

In addition, in the practice of Judaism, a believer is not required to convince the others to join the Judaic faith and adapt its beliefs. In its turn, in Christianity, teachings emphasize the importance of influencing the others to practice their religion. The Pharisees and law teachers who are at the top of Judaism look down upon the others as not good enough to be the part of their faith. However, in Christianity, Jesus orders his disciples to go forth and spread the gospel throughout the world. Nurses and practitioners who believe in Christianity are prone to coax their patients into accepting their preferred treatment while believers of Judaism are likely to miss important information to the patient. Such acts are unprofessional and should be suppressed. In George’s case, a Christian practitioner would preach him aiming to persuade to try experimental drugs. However, a Judaist would not care about George at all. Nevertheless, in such a case, accurate information should be delivered to the patient, and coercion should be avoided.

Religious differences can cloud a health provider’s judgment. To avoid this, specific principles should guide a decision making process. These principles include independence, justice, fairness, and sense of totality. Independence means that any choice connected with a patient’s health should be made by patients or their relatives if they are incapacitated. Therefore, George should be left to make a decision on his own without interference from third parties. He may decide not to try any experimental treatment after being told that its chances of success are low, and this has to be respected. The health practitioner should just inform the patient about the disease and available treatment options. However, the decision on the next course of action should be left with the patient (Swing & Lagumdzija, 2017). In addition to this, the health care provider should inform George about the most advantageous course of action. In this case, the degenerative neuromuscular disease with motion problems and disorientation is terminal. Thus palliative care will be advised. It means that George will be told that having a surgery is wrong as it is an unnecessary trauma. It should be also remembered that treatment should have the least harmful effects on the patient. Provision of care has to be done in a way that minimizes harm. However, in George’s case, a nurse who advised him to go for surgery is not sticking to this principle as it will lead to unnecessary trauma with no symptom relief.

In its turn, justice means that all people who are provided with health care should be treated in an equal manner. Although George has a terminal illness, he should not be denied treatment on the basis that he will die eventually. All that can eliminate the symptoms should be done efficiently (Zerwekh & Garneau, 2014).

Fairness in medicine ensures that human dignity is upheld even in terminal illness situations. Also, a sense of totality needs to exist in health care. When managing terminally ill individuals such as George, they should be looked at as people. Therefore, any ailments and general comfort should be considered. These guidelines will ensure that the information flow reaches the patient, and his decisions are understood and implemented.
Guidelines and the understanding that religion should not interfere with a decision making process are useless without the implementation of infrastructure. Making decisions should not be an individualistic and subjective thing in health care provision. Certain steps should be followed to ensure its standardization (Cooper, 2012, p.10). For example, problems should be identified and information gathered on the subject matter. The patient’s opinions and beliefs should be taken into consideration, and options that ensure agreements with the patient should be chosen. Such actions will help avoid conflicts caused by religion and cultural differences. In scenarios of terminal illnesses, before making a decision, a health provider has to ask himself what is best for the patient. In this case, it is a palliative care which is a patient’s choice. Not only infrastructure but also patient’s involvement is crucial in ensuring that George understands his choices (Moulton & King, 2010, p.15). A system where the patient takes an active role in the choice of management mode is required. To secure compliance with the medical staff legal incentives, the punishments for noncompliance are set up (Komendziński, Dreszer-Drogorób, Mikołajewski, Bałaj, & Mikołajewska, 2017). George should be involved in the decision-making process to ensure that the made decision is unanimous. Before undergoing tests, he should be informed about possible findings. Also, he should be involved in the management mode in order to make the proper choice.

In conclusion, death is linked with ethical issues in health care. Christians will want to sway their patients to their beliefs, and those who practice Judaism will be reluctant to care for a dying patient. Therefore, such religious biases should be eliminated. In this case, the guidelines should form the basis for a decision making process. To ensure that they are followed, frameworks are needed to be in place and patient cooperation has to be secured. All these measures will ensure effective communication and respect for choices made by the patient, irrespective of religious differences revolving around death and terminal illness.

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