George is a successful attorney in his mid-fifties. He is also a legal scholar, holding a teaching post at the local university law school in Oregon. George is also actively involved in his teenage son’s basketball league, coaching regularly for their team. Recently, George has experienced muscle weakness and unresponsive muscle coordination. He was forced to seek medical attention after he fell and injured his hip. After an examination at the local hospital following his fall, the attending physician suspected that George may be showing early symptoms for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The week following the initial examination, further testing revealed a positive diagnosis of ALS.
ALS is progressive and gradually causes motor neuron deterioration and muscle atrophy to the point of complete muscle control loss. There is currently no cure for ALS, and the median life expectancy is between 3 and 4 years, though it is not uncommon for some to live 10 or more years. The progressive muscle atrophy and deterioration of motor neurons leads to the loss of the ability to speak, move, eat, and breathe. However, sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell are not affected. Patients will be wheelchair bound and eventually need permanent ventilator support to assist with breathing.
George and his family are devastated by the diagnosis. George knows that treatment options only attempt to slow down the degeneration, but the symptoms will eventually come. He will eventually be wheelchair bound and be unable to move, eat, speak, or even breathe on his own.
In contemplating his future life with ALS, George begins to dread the prospect of losing his mobility and even speech. He imagines his life in complete dependence upon others for basic everyday functions and perceives the possibility of eventually degenerating to the point at which he is a prisoner in his own body. Would he be willing to undergo such torture, such loss of his own dignity and power? George thus begins inquiring about the possibility of voluntary euthanasia.
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 understanding of a diversity of faith expressions; for the purpose of this course, the focus will be on the Christian worldview.
Based on “Case Study: End of Life Decisions,” the Christian worldview, and the worldview questions presented in the required topic Resources you will complete an ethical analysis of George’s situation and his decision from the perspective of the Christian worldview.
Provide a 1,500-word ethical analysis while answering the following questions:
- How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the fallenness of the world?
- How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the hope of resurrection?
- As George contemplates life with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), how would the Christian worldview inform his view about the value of his life as a person?
- What sorts of values and considerations would the Christian worldview focus on in deliberating about whether or not George should opt for euthanasia?
- Given the above, what options would be morally justified in the Christian worldview for George and why?
- Based on your worldview, what decision would you make if you were in George’s situation?
Remember to support your responses with the topic Resources.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is required.
This assignment uses a rubric as follows.
Mechanics of Writing (includes spelling, punctuation, grammar, language use)
Writer is clearly in command of standard, written, academic English.
Evaluation of which values and considerations the Christian worldview focuses on when deliberating the option of euthanasia for the man is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials.
Suffering and Fallenness of the World
Analysis of how the man would interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative and the fallenness of the world is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials.
Argument Logic and Construction
Clear and convincing argument presents a persuasive claim in a distinctive and compelling manner. All sources are authoritative.
Documentation of Sources (citations, footnotes, references, bibliography, etc., as appropriate to assignment and style)
Sources are completely and correctly documented, as appropriate to assignment and style, and format is free of error.
Paper Format (use of appropriate style for the major and assignment)
All format elements are correct.
Morally Justified Options
Evaluation of which options would be justified in the Christian worldview for the man is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials.
Value of Life
Analysis of how the Christian worldview of the man might inform his view about the value of his life as a person with ALS is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials.
Thesis Development and Purpose
Thesis is comprehensive and contains the essence of the paper. Thesis statement makes the purpose of the paper clear.
Reflection hypothesis of which personal choices would be make if faced with ALS based on personal worldview is clear, relevant, and insightful.
Suffering and the Hope of Resurrection
Analysis of how the man would interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative and the hope of resurrection is clear and demonstrates a deep understanding that is skillfully supported by topic study materials.
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