PHI 413 Reflect on the analysis of the sin of suicide and, thus, euthanasia from the topic readings

PHI 413 Reflect on the analysis of the sin of suicide and, thus, euthanasia from the topic readings

PHI 413 Reflect on the analysis of the sin of suicide and, thus, euthanasia from the topic readings

Euthanasia is the intentional act of causing or hastening a patient’s death for generally good ends, such as the relief of pain and suffering (Hoehner, 2020). Personally when I think of euthanasia, I think of putting an animal down not ending the life of a human. There are two different types of euthanasia active and passive. Physician assisted suicided I think is a great option for someone who has a terminal illness and they do not want to go through the length of the pain and suffering. I do believe that there should be a very strict policy/guidelines to follow when a patients chooses this route. This will allow a patient to choose when is the right time to say goodbye, as opposed to suffering in pain for an unknown amount of time.

Hoehner, P. (2020). Death, dying, and grief. In GCU’s practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in health care. https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/4

Physician Assisted Suicide is a sensitive topic to me for a different reason. I cannot say or foresee myself requesting for my doctor to put me to sleep indefinitely. Perhaps it’s because I have not been hospitalized and have had to endure grave pain to think about making that decision. I have worked with cancer patients and have seen the suffering and destruction this terrible disease can cause. While I do not think I can ever consider euthanasia, I certainly feel that it should be available because no one has the right to decide for anyone. Quality of life is something that means very different things to different people. I certainly don’t want to be responsible for saying that your suffering is okay and should continue indefinitely, nor do I want that weight to be placed on your shoulders to decide for me (Meilaender,2013).

 

Reference

Meilaender, G. (2013). Bioethics: A primer for Christians (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

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Suicide is something that is debated by a massive amount of individuals every year for a huge number of reasons. Sometimes suicidal idealizations are debated because of a psychiatric condition, while other times it may be debated due to current situation. Other reasons that Mind.org (2022) states that people have suicidal feelings can also be because bullying, bereavement, ending of a relationship, money problems, housing problems, substance abuse, and even from postnatal depression. There are not just one reason why people get suicidal feelings, and there is not just one way to help those individuals who do have these feelings. Regis (2022) talks about a numbers of ways nurses can help with patients that are experiencing these feelings. Some of the suggestions they say nurses should do is to develop communicative, therapeutic relationships with patients, understand the patient by utilizing all applicable risk assessment techniques, understand suicide risk factors at every level, develop an adaptable, long-term plan of care for patients, and manage personal reactions to patients who express suicidal thoughts and attempts. For euthanasia, it is the practice of ending the life of a patient to limit the patient’s suffering. I can understand why this is something that is considered and there are some areas that allow this. Typically for this to be allowed, the patient needs to go under a large amount of psychiatric evaluations and have an incurable disease. Even though I do understand the argument for it, I feel like allowing this is a very slippery slope and it would allow more and more patients to want to commit suicide when there is not true pain and suffering going on with the patient.

 

Mind.org. (2022). Suicidal Feelings. Retrieved from https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/suicidal-feelings/causes-of-suicidal-feelings/

Regis. (2022). Tips for Suicide Assessment and Prevention That Nurses Should Know. Retrieved from https://online.regiscollege.edu/blog/tips-suicide-assessment-prevention-nurses-know/

“Human life has incalculable value because it is created, upheld, and sustained in spite of sin, redeemed by God, and is ultimately destined for eternal communion and glory with God” (Hoehner, 2020).

Euthanasia is defined as a “good death”, but really, is it truly “good” if one is assisting another to the grave prematurely (Hoehner, 2020)? The readings had an interesting view on physician assisted suicide (PAS). Some might think it is and okay school of thought because you are ending the patient’s suffering. However, the readings pointed out how far hospice and comfort care has come in alleviating suffering with the use of multiple pain medications and antianxiety medications. Often, a person does not want to know how the end will be and if the suffering and disease state will get worse, so they choose the physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, route. This topic is a complicated and often convoluted one. I do not personally believe in euthanasia, but how could I share my views with someone suffering with terminal cancer? Though “God has complete control over [our] life and death” how could I simply tell them that hospice will completely help their pain and that they will not be a burden on their family (Hoehner, 2020)? I could not. I do not know that that would be the truth. I could not personally be involved with euthanasia, but I do not know what I would do or say if I lived in a state that performed assisted suicide.

Suicide is defined as “death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die” (CDC, 2022). The Christian worldviewPHI 413 Reflect on the analysis of the sin of suicide and, thus, euthanasia from the topic readings opposes suicide and views it as “a destructive force that wreaks havoc and calamity in our world” (Potter, 2021). Often, suicide attempts within the church can create a “stigma” and prevent the person from getting the help they need (Potter, 2021). Suicide attempts are seen often in healthcare. Sometimes the patient is simply crying out for help and takes it too far, or they were serious about their want to end their life and are found before it is too late. In both instances, it is important that the patient receive timely and accurate help. They need to know they are not alone even though it might feel that way at times. It might be difficult to push away one’s own worldview on the subject, but the patient needs our support and care, not our judgment.

References:

CDC (2022). Facts about suicide: Suicide prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/facts/index.html

Hoehner, P. (2020). Death, dying, and grief. In GCU’s practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in health care. https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/4

Potter, J. (2021). Is suicide the unforgivable sin? Understanding suicide, stigma, and salvation through two Christian perspectives. Religions. 12(11), 987. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12110987

You have no idea how comfort care makes me feel. My experience with assisting patients on comfort care, but basically not doing anything to good to them rather than helping them to die is a terrible experience to me. I always experience emotional breakdown when you are just turning and bathing a patient that is not being fed or being given any treatment except pain medicines that are assisting the patient to the grave. My worst experience was when I administered pain medicine to a patient on comfort care and they instantly died before I even walked out of the room. From Christian point of view, I feel so much indebted when I take care of these patients and many times feel I am being dragged into sinful acts. Considering what the Bible says about killing and ending people’s lives, I am usually not at peace with this practice.  Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 21:16). On the other hand I am always thinking about the dilemma of nursing ethics with regards to euthanasia. Thoughts?

Reference:

Bible Gateway. 2 Kings 21:16. New International Version. https://www.biblegateway.com