Religious Perspective of Death and Dying: George’s Case


Nurse practitioners use their skills and philosophies to offer high-quality support and care to their patients. Concepts such as evidence-based practice and cultural competence are critical for caregivers providing support to individuals from different religious, social, and racial backgrounds. Such attributes make it easier for them to offer timely and desirable care to targeted patients. The presented case describes the dilemma facing George who has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This paper explores how the patient’s condition can be dealt with by different religious perspectives.

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Analyzing George’s Condition from a Christian Perspective

Christian Worldview

Christians believe strongly that God is a supreme being. He is also the prime reality. Followers of religion argue that the world is ordered in a perfect manner. The universe is also autonomous and depicts God’s ingenuity (Rumun, 2014). This is the reason why Christians are encouraged to develop positive relationships with the surrounding world. Human beings are intelligent and complex machines depicting the image of God. People are usually transformed into a higher state of immortality. True believers enter into God’s kingdom after death. Human beings have the power to understand the nature and complexity of the world around them. This is possible since they are created in God’s image. Man is given wisdom by God to know what is wrong or right (Rumun, 2014). Good practices (or things) are the ones that are pleasing in the eyes of God. Human history is necessary for Christians since it guides them to understand why the universe was created. A proper understanding of this past can guide Christians to focus on a life of eternity after death.

Ethical Analysis

The presented case shows clearly that George is unable to lead a normal life. A Christian analyzing this condition will acknowledge that the patient has an opportunity to improve his relationship with God. A terminal condition can be studied as a form of suffering that should not be viewed positively (Inbadas, Zaman, Whitelaw, & Clark, 2017). This is the case because Christians acknowledge that diseases bring human beings to come closer to their creator. A caregiver providing the required support to George will, therefore, be willing to empower him and ensure he re-patterns his life.

Diseases are examined and analyzed using Biblical teachings. Members of this faith indicate that human beings are created in the image of God. It would be necessary to encourage George to strengthen his faith. When he is aware of his role on earth, George will embrace the best practices and think of his eternal life. Christians would go further to respect, value, and support his life (Guerra & Frezza, 2017). With this kind of empowerment, the patient can lead a positive life and keep God first place. Despite the fact that George has a terminal condition, Christians will respect his life and ensure he achieves his goals.

ALS is defined as a progressive neurodegenerative condition capable of affected human spinal cords and brain nerve cells (Rumun, 2014). Christians will be on the frontline to pray for George. Family members and friends can be involved to empower and uplift George’s spirits. Believers will be ready to offer high-quality care, provide medications, and encourage him to embrace the best practices that can promote his aims in life. He should receive the right support and resources in order to succeed. Christians will be keen to ensure their patients pursue their dreams by offering the right incentives. Additionally, the presence of a disease should not deter him from focusing on his religious objectives.

Euthanasia is one of the options to deal with terminal conditions. The medical practice has attracted numerous views and objections from many medical theorists. Similarly, Christians have been keen to analyze the issue from different perspectives. Followers of the faith will consider a number of values and teaching before settling on euthanasia. Such attributes include the need to respect life and support God’s creation. Human dignity is another issue that cannot be ignored. Man is compelled to respect life since it is a gift given by God (Guerra & Frezza, 2017). Justice and the right to life are unique aspects that must be embraced by every believer. With these aspects, it becomes quite clear that euthanasia will not be recommended in this case.

Christian teachings will guide practitioners and family members to take good care of George. The right attention is critical to support the healing process. George can also be informed about the eternal life that is ahead of him. These approaches will ensure human life is respected by all means. Individuals providing care to him will make sure he reestablishes his relationship with God and eventually die peacefully (Rumun, 2014). Any form of torture or forced death such as euthanasia is not in accordance with God’s teachings. Additionally, George must be willing to take good care of his body and focus on his goals in life.

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Analyzing George’s Condition from a Buddhist Perspective

Buddhist Worldview

Buddhists argue that everything in the world qualifies to be a God. This means that every earthly object can be the prime reality. Members of the faith believe that the world is not real. They argue that it is fantastical. Human beings are part of the universe and have a reality. Buddhists indicate that death is unreal since people are reincarnated. The process is characterized by various stages that eventually result in nirvana (or oneness). This is a clear indication that the human force is eternal in nature. In order to understand anything, humans must examine the existing divinity in their bodies. This is achieved by distancing themselves from the physical world. A sense of enlightenment must be pursued by believers who want to differentiate the right and the wrong. Buddhists believe that ignorance makes it impossible for people to do good things. This knowledge can promote what is right. Human history does not have a specific meaning for members of the faith. This is true because Buddhists focus on a continuous cycle of birth and rebirth (McCormick, 2013).

Ethical Analysis

Buddhists view diseases from the realm of prime reality. According to these believers, George’s condition is something that is within human control. The patient can follow the teachings of Buddha to engage in a path of enlightenment. This approach will make it easier for him to overcome his suffering. Members of the faith acknowledge that diseases tend to occur when humans decide to ignore the nature of reality (De Lima et al., 2017). When a person is suffering from a condition such as ALS, he or she should think deeper in order to achieve nirvana. Members of his family and caregivers will use such teachings to ensure he realizes his health goals.

The faith also indicates clearly that George’s life is not under any threat. This is true because diseases should not be allowed to disorient men from their true aims in life. Although he has a terminal condition, the patient can focus on values such as nirvana in order to achieve his personal aims. The individual will appreciate the fact that his body is the same with or without the condition (De Lima et al., 2017). The ultimate goal should be to re-pattern his purpose with the true reality. Similarly, he must not fear death since humans go through a process of reincarnation. He will be empowered to focus on the best practices that can reshape his experiences and eventually achieve his goals.

The teachings of Buddha are also insightful when addressing the issue of euthanasia. Religion indicates clearly that human beings should be free to pursue what appears to be right. This is the case because people are part of the natural system or universe. Human immortality explains why individuals should take responsibility and pursue their own understandings of the universe. This knowledge will encourage them to embrace what is right. George will, therefore, be willing to embrace the idea of euthanasia. Although many people indicate that euthanasia results in an untimely death, the faith will guide George to embrace the practice because it will be part of reincarnation. The outstanding observation is that Buddhists are in constant journey characterized by rebirth, reincarnation, and birth (McCormick, 2013). Consequently, George and his relatives will not be against the idea.

This analysis depicts Buddhism as a faith that guides people to respond positively to every form of suffering. The philosophical model empowers human beings to come up with appropriate action plans and “avoid ignoring the true nature of reality” (McCormick, 2013, p. 219). Believers who understand the issues facing them will re-pattern their lives and eventually attain nirvana. The practice will guide them to connect with the divinity, reality, and uniqueness that define their bodies. The faith will empower George to control his life and eventually lead a better life even after death.


George’s health needs should be addressed from the right religious perspective. This discussion reveals that Christians and Buddhists will analyze and address their needs differently. The most important thing is for practitioners to be aware of their patients’ spiritual values in order to offer culturally competent care. The question of euthanasia should also be answered from an ethical viewpoint to maximize patients’ potential.


De Lima, L., Woodruff, R., Pettus, K., Downing, J., Buitrago, R., Munyoro, E., … Radbruch, L. (2017). International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care position statement: Euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 20(1), 8-14. Web.

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Guerra, A. L., & Frezza, E. E. (2017). To die or not to die: This is the dilemma! Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health Reviews, 2(1), 1-3. Web.

Inbadas, H., Zaman, S., Whitelaw, S., & Clark, D. (2017). Declarations on euthanasia and assisted dying. Death Studies, 41(9), 574-584. Web.

McCormick, A. J. (2013). Buddhist ethics and end-of-life care decisions. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life & Palliative Care, 9(2-3), 209-225. Web.

Rumun, A. J. (2014). Influence of religious beliefs on healthcare practice. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(4), 37-48. Web.

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