Liberty A Difficult Death Case Study Discussion
You have one of two options:
In the Kilner text the author has presented a case study titled A Difficult Death. Four contributing authors (chapters 9-12) have then responded to this case study from their own perspective and with their own focus. Respond to this information synthesizing your conceptions with the author’s ideas into a succinct and critical response.
In chapter 7 of the Munson text, there are varying viewpoints regarding Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Death (Rachels, Nesbitt, Gay-Williams, and Singer). Respond to this information by providing a clear Christian position on the issue. Provide clear biblical support for your rationale.
DB 3- Euthansia..
Several years ago I remember learning about euthanasia through a case study that I’ve learned in class. It was a story about a young lady name Terri Schiavo. she collapsed on the floor of her home. she suffers from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen in her brain. There was a lot of tension in her family and her husband about whether or not the doctors should continue the treatment. According to the doctors, they felt that the treatment should be discontinued because her condition was getting worse.
Years later, Terri Schiavo’s husband filed a medical malpractice lawsuit because the doctors failed to diagnose her condition as bulimia which explains why she suffers from infertility and lack of potassium. Terri’s husband won the case and now wanted to petition to remove the feeding tube in which her parents oppose the decision. Had the doctors taken advantage of the opportunity to diagnose her condition, the doctor would have found ways to save her. During the trial, there was so much tension on who has the right say.
The husband was able to petition the case by proving that his wife could no longer be on the feeding tube, it was evident that her condition was in a vegetative state and she does not need to be on the feeding tube. When the court reviews the medical documents, the judge realized that the petition should be granted because she had made an oral declaration that she had wanted the tube to be removed but Terri’s parents were not pleased with the results because they claimed that it had violated Terri’s Catholic faith.
Now looking back reading the Munson (2012) text on euthanasia, it is noted that taking away a human life is allowed when the suffering becomes intense and the condition of the person shows no hope (Munson, 2012). Ending life in this case, Terri’s story was one of the central themes of politics, religion, legal, medical ethics, and the public. (Weijer, 2005). The ending life of Terri Schiavo resulted from not able to agree on moving forward with the medical decision.
In the text, there were some highlights that I agree with the issue of Euthanasia. In most religions, when someone is in bad medical condition and there is nothing, they can do, they believe that let nature take its course-“let God’s” will determine the outcome, which I agree with because God has his reason to allow to happen. I agree with Ross’s theory on Euthanasia that there an obligation not to kill someone except in justifiable self-defense (Munson, 2012) thus is permissible to take someone’s life if there is nothing we can’t do especially when there was an instruction given by the person who is suffering.
Munson, R. (2012). Intervention and Reflection: Basic issues in bioethics. (9th edition). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Weijer, C. (2005). A death in the family: Reflections on the Terri Schiavo case. CMAJ. 172(9): 1197–1198. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC557072/
The case study “A Difficult Death” is about a family who struggles to deal with a father’s decision to endure a slow and painful death with pancreatic cancer. Dave, the husband to Mary, was a typically healthy man. They deceived their only daughter, Bethany, by telling her that this cancer was not life threatening. This benevolent deception was used to spare the emotions of their daughter. After undergoing chemotherapy, He chose to stop the chemotherapy and die a natural death. Dave always taught Bethany to never give up on anything. Bethany was furious with her father for making the decision to give up on life. Mary asked Dave’s physician if there was any way in which his death could be sped up. It was clear that Bethany’s relationship with her father was deteriorating just as the cancer was doing to Dave’s body.
Carson discusses (1) Is it right to forgo reasonable medical treatment and thus die more quickly than would otherwise be the case (Dave)? (2) Is it ever right to take active steps to hasten death (Mary)? (Kilner, 2011) These questions were very logical. Suicide assisted suicide and euthanasia (Kilner, 2011) are essentially the main sins being assessed. The Bible views suicide as equal to murder, which is what it is—self-murder. God is the only one who is to decide when and how a person should die. (gotquestions.org) Dave did not want to suffer through chemo, but Mary did not want Dave or Bethany to suffer. God never intended for his people to suffer, let alone die. On the broad canvas of Scripture, death is not normal. It is the result of sins or judgements of God. (Kilner, 2011) It is not known whether Dave committed a sin to deserve cancer, but we do know that they were children of God. Carson says, “Their approach to death and suffering ought to be transparently different from that of unbelievers. (Kilner, 2011) They should know that in Revelations 21:4 that Dave will not have to suffer for much longer before he receives his reward in heaven.
Robert D. Orr and Susan Salladay cover the patient-professional relationship. They both agree that Dave should have had a personal physician even when he was in good health. This would have given them more religious comfort and confidence in decision making. Seven C. Roy covers Pastoral Care and slow death vs sudden death. Slow death may not be very desirable, but they give the pastors time to be with their members before dying. Dave is justified for not wanting to suffer more than what he must. Mary should just allow him to die slowly because it also allows the family time to heal and accept everything. Example: when we are rocked by the storms of life we need an anchor to hold onto and that anchor is our faith. We get to make our own decisions and our own choices through God words. God’s word has given us some direction for dealing with difficult situations and circumstances and that includes times when we are faced with a tragic or difficult death.
- Kilmer, J. F. (Ed.). (2011). Why the church needs bioethics: A guide to wise engagement with
life’s challenges. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
- The Holy Bible (NIV). www.biblegateway.com. Accessed: February 23, 2020
- What is the Christian view of suicide? What does the Bible say about suicide? http://www.gotquestions.org/suicide-Bible-Christian.htmt. Accessed: February 23, 2020