How to write a nursing essay on Death and Dying Case (Solved)

How to write a nursing essay on Death and Dying Case (Solved)

George’s case study: 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


Abstract: Healthcare institutions are important contexts in which patients’ religious and cultural commitments must be recognized as worthy. Religion should be recognized as a potential source of moral purpose and personal strength amidst the experiences of healing, suffering, ill-health, and dying. During patient care, end-of-life care decision-making is among the tough choices, especially for patients with chronic illnesses that have no cure. George is among the patients with a tough decision to make following the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While he contemplates how to deal with this illness, it is crucial to understand the Christian view of suffering, hope, and life after death. George’s decision, whether to opt for euthanasia or to endure his suffering until the end, should be based on the Christian perspective of life and the hope for a good life thereafter.

How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the fallenness of the world?

One of the key issues people have with the Christian faith is trying to understand how God can allow so much suffering on earth. The pervasiveness of sin has damaged humankind and left many with an undeniable bent toward evil. Despite these challenges, God is the only one who can turn darkness into light and make right what is wrong in this world. All Christians understand that the suffering experienced on earth is a result of the sins committed by Adam and Eve. The themes of suffering, death and eternal life dwell in all Christians making acceptance at any stage possible. A popular quote by Pope Saint John Paul II notes that suffering is almost inseparable from man’s existence (McTavish, 2016). Human beings suffer through illness and other means to pay for the price of disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Human beings are weakened in their power, are subject to ignorance, suffering, and are dominated by death.

George can interpret his suffering based on the original sins committed in the Garden of Eden and the hope for a better life after death. As a Christian, George should understand that suffering manifests in many ways. For instance, the struggles to make ends meet in everyday hustles, hatred among people, desire for more, and above all illness and death indicate a constant world of suffering. The struggle that people have as they try to understand God and the causes of suffering is what Christians call the fallenness of the world. It encompasses moral evil that manifests through things humans do to themselves and the suffering resulting from natural causes. George can view his illness as his destiny, the opportunity to share suffering with Christ, and a chance to humble before God for his forgiveness. In the book of Philippians 3: 10-11, Paul draws his strength in suffering from the risen Christ and he believes that suffering, death, and resurrection can make humankind know Christ better. George should understand that suffering brings about endurance, character, and hope that are critical to believing in God.

How would George interpret his suffering in light of the Christian narrative, with an emphasis on the hope of resurrection?

Death is an event we will all one day have to face and life after death is what makes Christians confident to face death. Jesus came to the world to demonstrate how life after death can be more important than what we have right now. For instance, he came, suffered with us, wept, died, and resurrected to demonstrate how human beings can conquer their suffering (Cervantes, 2016). The hope of resurrection is a topic that is widely discussed in the bible and it makes us believe that a better life will come. Hope is a desire with mixed expectations. It is when you want something you do not have, but fully expect to receive it. In routine preaching, Christians are told to have hope in the resurrection, and perhaps to live without hope is to cease to live (Cervantes, 2016). The book of Thessalonians 4:13-18 explains that we should not grieve to those who have died like people without hope. Christians should believe in the power of resurrection that will be manifested when Jesus returns.

George should interpret his suffering as temporary and believe that after death more life will be waiting for him. Looking back at the story of Lazarus, Martha had hope that even after four days after death Jesus was going to do a miracle. She still had hope that his brother would rise again. Jesus explains that whoever believes in him will not die because he is the resurrection and life (Cervantes, 2016). George should believe that his soul will ascend and go to experience the judgment of God. In the event of perfect friendship, heaven awaits, but in case of imperfections then purgatory awaits (Cervantes, 2016). The resurrection of Jesus after suffering on the cross demonstrates that there is life after death. George should believe in eternal life and a safe place in heaven that Jesus went to prepare for those that will endure the suffering on earth and live righteously. George should interpret his suffering as something short-lived and more life lies ahead of misery and death.

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?

It is becoming more difficult to decide what to do with life considering the dilemmas in everyday living. The increase in chronic diseases some of which are incurable have raised concerns about what should be done including how Christians should handle such situations. George is faced with the challenge of deciding his value of life given his ALS diagnosis. As complex as these matters can be, the bible guides Christians regarding life and death. Although it does not address circumstances that we may encounter, it establishes principles to guide Christians in making end-of-life choices. While ethicists and philosophers quantify the quality of human life, the bible simply explains two circumstances; either there is life or there isn’t one (Goodnight, 2019). For Christians, human life is sacred and is a gift from the almighty that should be protected and respected. We are reminded that every person, irrespective of their health is precious to God so much that he knows the number of hair in our heads. It is only God that can choose when life begins and when it ends.

There is no question that life does not have varying degrees of quality according to the scriptures. The books of Proverbs 22 and Romans 9 depict that some are given health, wealth, and prosperity in life while others are given the burdens of illness and hardship. George should accept whatever life has been chosen for him, pray to God that the suffering ends, and believe in good life after death. George’s ALS is something that God knew before anyone else and it is God’s will that his life will end in suffering. Every human being is created in the image of God that is attached with an immense value that cannot be quantified (Goodnight, 2019). At no point should he decide that his life is useless. The bible teaches us that life is a gift regardless of its quality and Jesus’ death proved how everybody in this world is valued in the eyes of God. In the book of Genesis, whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. Taking life because of perceived value is against the fifth commandment alongside the morals of the Christian community.

What sorts of values and considerations would the Christian worldview focus on in deliberating about whether or not George should opt for euthanasia?

Christians are usually against euthanasia based on the argument that life is given by God and that human beings are made in the image of God. Birth and death are part of the life process and anybody who goes against these natural processes goes against the will of God. The purpose of euthanasia, according to the Christian view, is to judge whether the current life of an individual is worthwhile (Choudry et al., 2018). While basing these arguments on the bible, it is important to consider the value of autonomy as it applies to medicine (Guiahi et al., 2019). George has the right to make an informed decision about his life and that includes the option of euthanasia. However, he should understand the Christian perspective of the practice and the consequences. Accepting euthanasia is a decision to terminate life which is a sin and eventually will prevent him from seeing God’s kingdom.

Another Christian value to consider is courage that encompasses boldness and the confidence to do things (Guiahi et al., 2019). Christians are encouraged in the book of Joshua to be courageous and strong. Human beings are encouraged not to be afraid for the Lord will be with them wherever they go.

Given the above, what options would be morally justified in the Christian worldview for George and why?

The first option available for George is the acceptance that illness and suffering are part of our journey in this world. He should accept that death is inevitable and those who believe in God shall be resurrected at the end of the world. To instill hope into his life, George’s care should involve the church and the community (Choudry et al., 2018). Fellowship will strengthen George’s faith that his time in the world is over and he shall forever enjoy in heaven. The second option available for the patient is palliative care. According to the Christian view, palliative care resonates with the healing ministry of Christianity and affirms the sanctity and dignity of human life (Choudry et al., 2018). The care will provide an opportunity for George to manifest God’s unfailing love for the ill and dying.

Based on your worldview, what decision would you make if you were in George\’s situation?

Based on the worldview, my decision will involve seeking palliative care and other medical remedies until death strikes. As a Christian, I believe euthanasia means taking something away from God. It is only God who gives life and he has the right to take it away. Shortening human life because of avoiding suffering only proves cowardice and the lack of faith in God. We are commanded to be strong and courageous because the Lord will be with us even during the end times.




Cervantes, H. (2016). The implications of the resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15: 12-28). Diligence: Journal of the Liberty University Online Religion Capstone in Research and Scholarship1(1), 6.

Choudry, M., Latif, A., & Warburton, K. G. (2018). An overview of the spiritual importances of end-of-life care among the five major faiths of the United Kingdom. Clinical Medicine (London, England)18(1), 23–31.

Goodnight, A. L. (2019). A Life Worth Living: Value and Responsibility. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy44(2).

Guiahi, M., Helbin, P. E., Teal, S. B., Stulberg, D., & Sheeder, J. (2019). Patient views on religious institutional health care. JAMA Network Open2(12), e1917008.

McTavish J. (2016). Suffering, death, and eternal life. The Linacre Quarterly83(2), 134–141.

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