Health care providers frequently encounter individuals from diverse faith backgrounds. As a result, it is essential for healthcare professionals to possess knowledge and acceptance of various faith expressions. This paper aims to conduct a comparative ethical analysis of George’s situation and decision from the perspective of Christianity and another unfamiliar religion: Buddhism. By exploring the worldviews of these two religions, this analysis will shed light on the ethical considerations within each belief system.
Christianity is one of the world’s major religions, with a diverse range of denominations and interpretations. Its core beliefs center on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians hold that Jesus is the Son of God and that salvation can be achieved through faith in Him. The Bible serves as the primary source of authority and guidance for Christians in matters of faith and practice.
1. What is the nature of ultimate reality?
In Christianity, ultimate reality is characterized by the belief in a triune God: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Christians view God as eternal, sovereign, and infinite in power, knowledge, and wisdom. They believe that God created and sustains the universe and is intimately involved in human affairs.
2. What is the nature of the universe?
Christians believe that the universe was created by God out of nothing. They hold that the universe reflects God’s wisdom, order, and purpose. Human beings are seen as God’s special creation, made in His image and charged with the responsibility to steward the earth.
3. What is the nature of human beings?
According to Christianity, human beings are unique in creation as they are made in the image of God. This endows every individual with inherent dignity, worth, and moral responsibility. Christians believe that human beings possess a physical body and an immaterial soul, which will exist eternally.
4. What is the nature of morality?
In Christianity, morality is based on God’s character and revealed in His commandments. Christians believe that God’s moral law is objective, unchanging, and applicable to all people. Right and wrong are defined by God’s standards rather than subjective human preferences. Moral behavior involves loving God and loving one’s neighbor as oneself.
5. What is the meaning and purpose of life?
For Christians, the meaning and purpose of life are found in a relationship with God. They believe that human beings were created to worship, love, and serve God. Additionally, Christians strive to follow Christ’s example, spreading the message of salvation and living in obedience to God’s commandments.
Ethical Analysis from Christianity Perspective
In George’s situation, he is faced with the dilemma of whether to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from his husband, Harry, who is in a persistent vegetative state. From a Christian perspective, several ethical considerations arise.
Firstly, Christianity emphasizes the value of human life as sacred and unique, being made in the image of God. Christians believe that life should be preserved and protected as much as possible. This perspective opposes euthanasia, the deliberate act of ending a person’s life, as it violates the sanctity of life.
Furthermore, Christianity encourages compassion and care for the suffering. Christians are called to emulate Christ’s example of love and mercy towards others, particularly those who are vulnerable or in pain. In the case of George and Harry, the Christian perspective would prioritize providing comfort and support to Harry, ensuring that his pain and suffering are alleviated through appropriate palliative care rather than hastening his death.
Additionally, Christianity values the importance of making informed decisions. Christians are encouraged to seek wisdom, guidance, and counsel when faced with difficult choices. In George’s situation, consulting medical professionals, bioethicists, and religious leaders can provide valuable insight and guidance to help George make an ethically sound decision. This aligns with the Christian belief in the importance of a holistic approach to decision-making that considers both the spiritual and practical dimensions.
Buddhism is a world religion originating in ancient India and founded by Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha. Buddhists seek enlightenment and the cessation of suffering through the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Buddhism encompasses a wide range of beliefs and practices, adapted to various cultural contexts.