NURS 4234 Issues In Professional Practice

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NURS 4234 Issues In Professional Practice

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Course Code: NURS4234
University: The University Of Texas At Tyler

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Country: United States

Question:

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.
 
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?

Answer:

Introduction
The behavior and attitudes of individuals towards certain aspects are influenced by their by personal beliefs. These beliefs differ from individual to individual and may be determined by religion, culture among other factors. An individual’s values and beliefs do not develop overnight but form overtime. Cultural and religious factors play a major role in shaping people’s worldview. A worldview is defined as the framework of ideas through which cultures, groups or individuals interpret the world and relate with it. It is the way people see and comprehend the world around them. People in different religions may have a different understanding of world phenomena. This essay will present a comparison of a Christian’s   and a Buddhist worldview and compare it with my own point of view.
Brief Overview of Each Religion
Christianity
What is prime reality?
According to the Christianity perspective, primer reality refers to the everlasting personal God who is manifested through the Holy Scriptures. This Infinite God is sovereign, omniscient, omnipresent, immanent and Transcendent(Edlin, 2008). An individuals believe in God or lack of it, their personality or cultural values influence their sense of what is real or not. For me my personal experiences such as the manifestation of God in my life inform my definition of what is real.
What is the nature of the world around us?
My perception towards the world is that that the world around us is made of matter, created by God and is objective. I also believe that the world has order and meaning. It is therefore not autonomous, chaotic or made of spirit.
What is a human being?
Am person becomes a human being is a person based on the fact that they are made in the image and likeness of God. A person is also a human being because of the fact that he or she is created with a purpose and has value. A Person is not a complex machine or a sleeping god.
What happens to a Person after Death?
I strongly believe that a person is transformed into a higher state after death. Through this higher state, the soul of a person is then generated from their body and then given eternal life(Edlin, 2008). Their immortal soul is then granted eternal retribution.
Why is it possible to know anything at all?
Learning and experience are the basis through which a parson gains knowledge and insight in this world. All knowledge comes from God who is the source and authority of all knowledge. A person gains knowledge because of their God given ability (Shelly & Miller, 2009). Our understanding of these things helps us to differentiate what is right and wrong, what is important or not. It makes us strive to understand what our purpose in life is.
How do we know what is right and what is wrong?
The knowledge I have acquired over time helps me to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong in life. The fact that I am created in the image of God who is all good also helps me to know what is right and what is not. There is no ultimate truth but all individuals decide what is right or wrong for them based on their understanding (Shelly & Miller, 2009).
What is the meaning of human history?
Human history plays a significant role in our lives. Through our human history, we are able to understand where we have come from and where we are going. Human history has an impact on both our present and future lives. It helps us understand why we were created and therefore enables us to find meaning and purpose in life (Edlin, 2008). 
Buddhism
What is prime reality?
In a Buddhist perspective, prime reality refers to the dharma or the ultimate truth about the way things are in reality. They believe that changes are inevitable and that nothing is permanent. Buddhism does not believe in a personal god (Broeckaert, Gielen,Van Iersel & Van den Branden, 2009).Human beings are often misled about the true nature of reality. Prime reality is therefore seeing things as they really are. Life is often characterized by impermanence and suffering
What is the nature of the world around us?
Buddhism believes that humans cannot be separated from the environment. They believe that the world is orderly in that a thing is born, enjoys its life and ends its life, in a continuous cycle that does not end at any time. They also believe that the Universe gives back to humans what they give to it. They do not attach any role of gods in the origin of the universe but believe that the existence of everything depends on everything else (Rinpoche, 2012).
What is a human being?
A human being is perceived to have no soul. A person becomes a human being based on the fact that they have a mind stream(Rinpoche,2012). While some believe that they have evolved on their own, others perceive themselves to be a creation of Buddha God
What happens to a person after death?
In Buddhism a person is reborn after death. The man has no Soul but the person’s spirit seeks out new life and body after a person dies. Death does not signify the end of life but it is a passage which everyone must pass through before their rebirth (Sogyal,Gaffney & Harvey, 2013).For them the body breaks down after death releasing mental energy which re-establishes itself in a new body. They believe that all lives reincarnate into animal, divine or human form based on the behavior patterns during previous lives.
Why is it possible to know anything at all?
According to Buddhism, knowledge is an illusion. Based on the fact that the expression of reality is impersonal, what individuals know and experience is perceived to be not an expression of ultimate reality (Harvey,2012).. Knowledge does not come from God because from a Buddhist perspective, God does not exist.
How do we know what is right and wrong?
The knowledge of what is good or evil is illusionary. There is no existence of moral absolutes. Ultimate truth does not exist since the idea of what is right or wrong lacks absolute substance or authority. Since the idea of what is wrong or right cannot be ultimately defined individuals decide what is right or wrong for them. Living in harmony with the Cosmos however, leads to the accumulation of good Karma (Lief, 2011). On the contrary opposition of the Cosmos process leads to the accumulation of bad karma.
What is the meaning of human history?
Since time is an illusion, human history has no major significance in people’s lives. Cyclical movement of reality is what people confuse to be time. The sense of self keeps individuals attached to the world. The material world or the Cosmos exists in eternity (Eliade, 2013). The purpose and meaning of individuals in life are to cleanse themselves for the achievement of full enlightenment. Humans have a purpose of achieving freedom from suffering.
Christianity
How Christianity interprets the nature of George’s malady and suffering
In Christianity perspective suffering is a normal part of Christian life. Humans must suffer because Christ also suffered. Suffering and tribulations are part of Gods plan to make Christian’s live like Christ himself. That could be used to explain George’s malady and suffering. Beyond his physical malady, his illness can also be attributed to testing of his Faith by God. As per the Christian perspective, God uses suffering to remove sin from Christian’s lives(Westermarck,2012). It could be the reason for George’s suffering and malady.
This religion’s view of the value of the life of George
Christianity believes that life is a precious gift from God. Life therefore belongs to God, which makes him have absolute autonomy over the life of human beings. The value of George’s life just like that of any other Christian is to take care of the earth(Krause,2008). As a person living with ALS his life should be guarded and cherished.
How would this religion  treat the idea of George opting for euthanasia?
The life of a human being is considered valuable because it is God given and the fact that human beings are made in the image of God. For this reason, Christianity is against euthanasia. Christianity calls for the respect of the natural processes of life such as birth and death which were created by God. They should not be interfered with. No one has the authority to take away the life of a person even if that person wants to die (Bülow et al.,2008).
How would this religion morally justify the decision that George makes?
According to Christianity, George only has an option of accepting and living with his suffering and malady. He needs to accept suffering as a natural part of life and pray for divine intervention. He should not interfere with the natural process of death because life does not belong to him (Eves, 2010).
Second Religion; Buddhism
How this religion interprets the nature of George’s malady and suffering
Buddhism perceives suffering as a natural part of life. According to a Buddhist perspective, George’s suffering and malady is a consequence of personal desires and selfish cravings (Gehart & Paré, 2008). Both the world we live in and human nature are imperfect. Because of this imperfect nature, physical suffering such as old age, tiredness, injury, sickness, pain and eventually death is inevitable. Suffering can be avoided through right concentration, right mindfulness, right effort, right livelihood, right action, right speech, right intention and right view (Young-Eisendrath, 2008).
This religion’s view of the value of the life of George
Life’s ultimate goal according to Buddhism is to end suffering. The point for George’s life is for him to cleanse and purify himself in order to achieve full enlightenment (Keown, 2013). George suffers because he lives. Without truly understanding what suffering is by experiencing it, George, cannot have a full understanding of what compassion is.
How would this religion treat the idea of George opting for euthanasia?
Buddhism observes that the purpose of living is for individuals to achieve enlightenment. The natural path towards should therefore not be interfered with. Reasons for euthanasia are perceived to be negative and hence deemed to counteract the path towards enlightenment(Broeckaert et al.,2009). Although there is lack of unanimity on euthanasia most Buddhists oppose involuntary euthanasia. However, their position on voluntary euthanasia like that of George is not clear (Ratanakul, 2013). It would therefore focus on the impact of euthanasia on the impact on the path of enlightenment and whether there is consent involved.
How would this religion morally justify the decision that George makes?
Buddhism does not believe in the existence of right or wrong. They believe that this is a false duality that all individuals must rise above as they look forward to their enlightenment. Because those following the path of duality do not recognize the existence of good or evil, they do not praise the good or condemn evil or praise the good or vice versa. Because the way a person dies affects the new life of Buddhists, euthanasia is considered immoral (Ratanakul, 2013).
My Own Personal View
I believe that suffering is part of an individual’s life and everybody has to suffer at one point in time or another. As a Christian created in the image of God I believe that human beings should accept suffering just like Christ accepted to suffer in order to redeem mankind. Euthanasia is therefore not an option out of suffering because if affects the natural death process and goes against the principle of sanctity of life. It also hinders individuals from achieving their life’s purpose.
Conclusion
In conclusion both similarities and differences exist in the Christian and Buddhism viewpoints. Both believe in the sanctity of life and the natural process of death. In both Christianity and Buddhism, suffering is perceived to be a natural part of life and all must suffer without exception. They therefore should accept suffering. While Christians unanimously condemn euthanasia, there is no unanimous view in the Buddhist perspective although a majority seems to agree that it is an immoral practice. 
References
Broeckaert, B., Gielen, J., Van Iersel, T., & Van den Branden, S. (2009). Palliative care physicians’ religious/world view and attitude towards euthanasia: A quantitative study among flemish palliative care physicians. Indian journal of palliative care, 15(1), 41.
Bülow, H. H., Sprung, C. L., Reinhart, K., Prayag, S., Du, B., Armaganidis, A., … & Levy, M. M. (2008). The world’s major religions’ points of viewon end-of-life decisionsin the intensive care unit. Intensive care medicine, 34(3), 423-430.
Edlin, R. (2008). Christian education and worldview. International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal, 3(2), 5.
Eliade, M. (2013). The quest: History and meaning in religion. University of Chicago Press.
Eves, R. (2010). ‘In God’s hands’: Pentecostal Christianity, morality, and illness in Melanesian society. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 16(3), 496-514.
Gehart, D. R., & Paré, D. (2008). Suffering and the relationship with the problem in postmodern therapies: A Buddhist re-visioning. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 19(4), 299-319.
Harvey, P. (2012). An introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, history and practices. Cambridge University Press.
Keown, D. (2013). Buddhism and human rights. In Contemporary Buddhist Ethics (pp. 67-89). Routledge.
Krause, N. (2008). The social foundation of religious meaning in life. Research on Aging, 30(4), 395-427.
Lief, J. L. (2011). Making friends with death: A Buddhist guide to encountering mortality. Boston: Shambhala.
Ratanakul, P. (2013). To save or let go: Thai Buddhist perspectives on euthanasia. In Contemporary Buddhist Ethics(pp. 177-190). Routledge.
Rinpoche, S. (2012). The Tibetan book of living and dying: a spiritual classic from one of the foremost interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism to the West. Random House.
Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2009). Called to care: A Christian worldview for nursing. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic/InterVarsity Press.
Sogyal, A ., Gaffney, P., & Harvey, A. (2013). The Tibetan book of living and dying. Pymble, NSW: PerfectBound.
Westermarck, E. A. (2013). Christianity and morals. Routledge.
Young-Eisendrath, P. (2008). The transformation of human suffering: A perspective from psychotherapy and Buddhism. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 28(5), 541-549.

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