Death And Dying: A Case Study Sample Paper

The questions about death and terminal conditions are difficult subjects to discuss. For many people, faith explains such happenings, providing solace or guiding their decisions for healthcare. In the case of George, the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) means that he has a limited time to live and that his health is highly likely to deteriorate with time. The burden of this disease will lead to him losing his autonomy and ability to complete everyday tasks without aid. However, as George dreads his future with the diagnosis, the Christian faith offers a path for living the last years in dignity by God’s teachings. The Christian worldview strongly opposes euthanasia and advises about living with such a condition as ALS, based on the sanctity of life and the invaluable role of suffering.

Interpretation: Fallenness of the World

According to the Christian narrative, people live in the fallen world – their existence is filled with pain, suffering, and death. The fall led to people leaving the place where all negative experiences were non-existent, and there were also no sins. However, now sin and suffering are tied together, and sinful people have to go through pain and death as part of this connection (McTavish, 2016). Illness may lead to a person becoming scared, destitute, and self-absorbed in suffering, turning away from the faith. In contrast, it can also give one a stronger resolve to face the issue.

Thus, George may interpret his diagnosis as a natural part of such living, as people’s imperfect world is a consequence of the fall. In the same way, George can accept this suffering as a personal experience that shows the power God has over the universe – “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21 New International Version [NIV]). This is one of the pillars of Christian thought, and it may guide his acceptance of suffering as an intrinsic part of his human life.

Interpretation: Hope of Resurrection

While George may feel powerless and hopeless because of his diagnosis, he may also turn to Christianity to see suffering as a path to resurrection after death. On the one hand, all people will die as they live in a fallen world. One the other hand, they will be resurrected with their faith – “for as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22 NIV). The emphasis on resurrection can help George cope with the struggles that he will experience in his present life.

The man may interpret his illness as an obstacle that provides him with an opportunity to test his faith. Sharing the suffering of Christ and becoming like him, enduring the troubles of life may help him attain resurrection; it is an ideology from which George can draw strength (Lewis Hall, 2016; Mugg & Turner, 2017). The hope that overcoming one’s pain leads to a greater outcome is a source of strength to keep on living with the condition.

Value of Life

Human life is considered special and sacred in the Christian worldview. First of all, as God created all life, people should value the lives of all humans, including their own. The power of God to give and take away life is not questioned, and it is limited for humans whose interference disrespects the basic ideas of Christianity. Second, “God created mankind in his own image,” which means that each life is a great value to the world (Genesis 1:27 NIV). The dignity of life depends not on one’s status in society, but on their inherent source of creation. Furthermore, one can argue that all lives are equal, as they were created by God. From this idea, George may draw a conclusion that his ALS diagnosis does not lower his value as a person, and that his existence remains sacred in the eyes of the church and God. The ALS and his eventual loss of autonomy also do not change his position as a part of the world.

Values and Considerations: Euthanasia

As noted above, one of the core beliefs of Christianity is that all human lives are sacred. As God created all people, and He made them in His image, humans cannot end the lives of others. Such acts would be considered murder, going against God’s commandment “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13 NIV). For this reason, Christianity strongly opposes euthanasia and similar forms of killing, even if the person is making the decision to end their life (Faneye, 2019). Such acts are not seen as voluntary, and they go against God’s orders.

Furthermore, people cannot turn to euthanasia because this would mean that they defy God’s power to give and take away life. Killing a person means ending their life before their time as planned by God, which implies that the people interfere with the course of existence and rewrite the fabric of life (De Villiers, 2016). As ALS does not diminish George’s value in the eyes of God, an act of euthanasia could be interpreted as an attempt to end an innocent and valued life, which goes against the core concepts of Christianity.

One possible challenging issue to resolve would be George’s lack of power over his own body as the symptoms progress. Here, one may see voluntary euthanasia as an act of kindness that could alleviate George’s suffering. Nonetheless, the Christian narrative shows that such compassion is not justified as it results in taking a life. Here, the question of what is genuinely moral is present, deliberating about the role of empathy versus perseverance.

Morally Justified Options

Acknowledging the concepts of Christianity outlined above, one may see that voluntary euthanasia is not an entirely morally justified choice for George. The focus on the sacred place of human life in the world implies that George should be encouraged to live his life to the fullest possible extent while he can. As such, he may seek symptom management and consult with health providers to find the most viable way to continue independent living. These options may slow down the progression of the disease and help George live a number of years spending time with family and friends.

Another solution is hiring or finding a caregiver who will assist George live a fulfilling life. He may make end-of-life decisions to prepare his family and ensure that they have a support network when he is gone. The Christian worldview values the lives of people with disability and illness and instructs their families to provide special care (Faneye, 2019). Therefore, palliative care is a permissible strategy for George to prefer. Nevertheless, an essential part of George’s approach to ALS is the acceptance that this condition is difficult, but it does not affect his ability to think and perceive the world and all its beauty.

Personal Decision

It is difficult to say what I would do in the same situation as George. One cannot fully imagine what it is like to hear such a life-changing diagnosis. However, I believe that I would choose to live as long as I can, provided that my family and friends would support me. It is vital for a person with a diagnosis of ALS to have a network of people with whom one can socialize, and a number of individuals to rely on when one’s independence is decreasing. Moreover, access to healthcare and financial stability plays a role in the final decision, as not all people can afford a caretaker or disability aids. Nonetheless, my worldview is that many people live with disabilities at different ages, and their lives can be as full of happiness and love as any other person. As the Christian narrative shows, all lives are equally valuable and precious.

Conclusion

To summarize, the Christian worldview does not approve of voluntary euthanasia. This act is seen as impermissible and equitable to the murder of an innocent person. George may interpret his diagnosis from several angles, but the focus remains on the sanctity of human life. Pain and suffering may be justified in the religion, and George can empower himself to seek hope for resurrection. Morally justified options include palliative care and acceptance of his condition. Personally, I would try my best to accept the diagnosis of ALS and remind myself that this condition, just like any other disability, does not make me less valuable.

References

De Villiers, D. E. (2016). May Christians request medically assisted suicide and euthanasia? HTS Theological Studies, 72(4), 1-9.

Faneye, B. (2019). The euthanasia debate: Importance of spiritual care in end of life. Philosophy, 9(12), 713-724.

Lewis Hall, M. E. (2016). Suffering in God’s presence: The role of lament in transformation. Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, 9(2), 219-232.

McTavish, F. J. (2016). Suffering, death, and eternal life. The Linacre Quarterly, 83(2), 134-141.

Mugg, J., & Turner Jr, J. T. (2017). Why a bodily resurrection?: The bodily resurrection and the mind/body relation. Journal of Analytic Theology, 5(1), 121-144.

Single-Parent Families: Source Analysis

Single-parent families have been a controversial topic for an extended period of time. The family variation became so prevalent that it gained the attention of a wide variety of people starting from scholars and ending with online journalists. Multiple sources can be found on the Internet that attempts to analyze the issue to determine its strengths, weaknesses, and possible solutions. However, due to the rapidly increasing popularity of the issue, a substantial number of articles of questionable credibility and value have been written. Some articles utilize unreliable data, provide questionable arguments that may lack any evidence, and portray biased and non-objective views on single-parenting as a concept. Some of the authors may even lack the qualification needed for the creation of such writings. This essay analyzes a scholarly article and an article found online in order to determine which source is more convincing and trustworthy.

The first source that is going to be analyzed is “Understanding Single Parent Families” by Kirsten Shuder. The article is well-structured and provides up-to-date information regarding the given topic. The facts are given in a non-complicated manner, so the intended audience is probably people who want to gain more knowledge on the issue or seek advice on their situation. The article thoroughly describes the disadvantages of being a single parent and provides evidence that reinforces the arguments against this family format. However, the sources it uses are databases of governmental resources and NGOs whose objective is to convince people that two-parent families are a standard to follow. Furthermore, the poll results typically stem from public opinion, which is not objective and will inevitably focus on the negative aspect of the phenomenon that most people see as abnormal. The writer does not review any positive sides of single-parent families and supplies the article with links to three outside sources that are based on counseling and psychological help.

The second source of information is a scholarly article written by Leslie N. Richards and Cynthia J. Schmiege, that focuses on single-parenting problems and strengths. The study provides a profound examination of single-parent families and references over sixty other scholarly articles on the topic. The authors took the negative bias towards this particular family format into consideration and focused their efforts on objectivity in their research. The arguments against a single-parent family are lack of finances, troublesome multitasking, impartial attitude, and high-stress levels. Both articles agree on the negative aspects of single-parenting; however, the latter supports the arguments with scholarly studies on the issue and lists concrete evidence. Furthermore, the second article’s authors provide their own research on the issue that focuses on the positive aspects of single-parent families. The evidence they provide is taken directly from interviews with single mothers and fathers who volunteered to participate in the study. The other perspective helps formulate an objective opinion on the matter and gives an impartial understanding of the issue.

In conclusion, both articles are well-structured and serve their purpose. However, it is impossible to ignore that their goals and intended audiences differ. The former attempts to portray single-parent families as something abnormal and indirectly persuade the reader to change their family model to the one accepted by society. If the option is not available, the article suggests mental help and counseling, making the study’s subjective nature clear. The latter focuses on objective research and provides evidence from multiple scholarly sources. It references the interviews with single-parent family members and arguments for both positive and negative aspects of the issue. Hence, the academic source is more objective and trustworthy because it covers all aspects of single-parent families. Furthermore, it uses the studies of other scholars as well as their own research to reinforce the valid points concerning the issue.

Works Cited

Richards, Leslie N., and Cynthia J. Schmiege. “Problems and Strengths of Single-Parent Families: Implications for Practice and Policy.” Family Relations, vol. 42, no. 3, 1993, pp. 277–285.

Shuder, Kirsten. “Understanding Single Parent Families.” LoveToKnow, 2020, Web.

Surfing, By Nature, Is Social Distancing, Let Us Surf

The previous discussion was devoted to the problem of surfing and its prohibition during the time of the pandemic. The topicality of the issue is evidenced by the fact that being obliged to observe social distancing and quarantine rules, people feel the lack of physical activity and suffer from the adverse effects caused by this factor. For this reason, there are vigorous debates whether surfers introduce the additional risk of spreading the infection and increasing COVID-19 rates, or their activity is safe for communities, and contributes to the overall improvement of the situation by providing people with new opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and better functioning of their immune systems.

The previous op-ed discussion managed to create a good argument justifying the necessity to allow surfing and provide people with an opportunity to engage in this kind of activity during the pandemic. The analysis by using the Toulmin model demonstrated the appropriate logic of claims, grounds, and supportive statements to explain why the ban of this activity might have a negative effect on populations. However, to continue discussing the issue and acquire its improved understanding, another piece of evidence taken from a new op-ed can be investigated. Comparing the arguments offered by different authors and applying the same Toulmin model, it is possible to prove or refute the central assumption or add additional evidence to the primary statement.

Thus, the Toulmin model presupposes six elements: claim, grounds, warrant, qualifier, rebuttal, and backing. Bass introduces his main claim by stating, “Don’t discriminate.” Immediately after the given statement, the author introduces the ground for the argument, saying that “Let bikers go biking. Let joggers go jogging. Let surfers go surfing. But it must be done alone. If not, by all means, shut them down.” (Bass). It means that the rule should be the same for all kinds of activity with no exceptions; otherwise, an unfair situation can be observed, and surfers might feel discriminated. Bass also offers the warrant by assuming, “There is no difference between me exercising in the ocean and the cyclist who rode past me that early chilly morning using the bike lane.” In such a way, he starts discussing the problem with reasonable and grounded arguments.

The analyzed work also has a qualifier that adds power to the argument. Bass states that “if you are not keeping yourself six feet away from all people at all times, your behavior is immoral”, meaning that even surfers should follow the existing rules. However, the chances of violating the laws of isolation are minimal for these people. At the same time, there is a rebuttal, as Boss assumes that if social distancing is critical, it should be “wide enough to be effective.” Thus, the argument also includes backing, presupposing that the ocean is a big playground, and surfers can be distanced enough to remain safe and healthy (Bass). In such a way, the application of the Toulmin model shows that the offered text has all components of clear, distinct, and persuasive writing.

Nevertheless, there are some flaws and fallacies in the assumptions offered by the author. First of all, Bass often appeals to emotions emphasizing the given component of surfing and its importance for people to feel happy and safe. This method might decrease the effectiveness of the argument because of the subjective nature of such claims and their ability to affect a limited number of individuals who share the author’s position or can accept this argumentation. In such a way, statements such as “I urge my fellow surfers to go surfing alone” can deteriorate the quality of the argument because of their personal nature and the lack of credible justification (Bass).

Another flaw of the proposed argumentation is the Appeal to Authority type of fallacy. In other words, the author mainly uses his own visions, observations, and conclusions to justify the necessity of surfing and its need for society. Bass says, “In the ocean, surfers keep their distance. Even at crowded locations, we are rarely within 10 feet of each other.” Yet, the statement comes from his own experience, which means that there is a lack of support and credible evidence. The given fallacy might deteriorate the power of arguments and make them less persuasive.

However, regardless of the existing fallacies, the overall logic and structure of the text can be viewed as sufficient and strong enough. The application of the Toulmin model shows that Bass observes the basic form of the argument. His claim and ground introduce the topic appropriately, and, at the same time, the author manages to attract attention to the discussed issue. Another vital feature is the way the idea is presented. Bass starts the discussion of the problem of surfing with some persona experience and continues by offering his own arguments and visions of the situation. It helps readers to understand the idea that will be discussed and be ready to engage in debates related to the problem of surfing in terms of the pandemic. In such a way, regardless of the multiple appeals to emotional aspects, and the lack of authority, the overall logic of the argument seems appropriate and strong.

Comparing the two ways op-ed discussions touch upon the issue, it is possible to state that they both manage to offer reasonable and powerful arguments. However, they touch upon the problem from different perspectives. The reasoning provided in the first paper focuses on the spiritual, mental, and physical benefits of surfing, which can be critically important for individuals during the pandemic (Istvan). At the same time, the argument offered by Bass revolves around the fairness of the prohibition and its consideration from the perspective of isolation and social distancing. The power of both theses is proven by the application of the Toulmin model and investigation of fallacies found in the authors’ statements. The logical consistency of the selected editorials cannot be doubted as they have the features of potent persuasive texts that can affect the target audience and initiate vigorous debates in society.

Altogether, the analysis of the editorial demonstrates that the text contains the central elements of the potent argument. The application of the Toulmin model shows that the author manages to introduce a powerful claim and develop it by using background and reasonable pieces of evidence. There are some fallacies, such as the appeal to emotions and authority, which can weaken the claims of the author. However, the clear structure and the employment of some strong examples help to persuade readers and increase the power of arguments suggested by Bass. In such a way, both analyzed editorials have logical consistency and help to understand the problem better.

Works Cited

Bass, Scott. “Commentary: Surfing, by Nature, Is Social Distancing. Let Us Surf.” The San Diego Union Tribute, 2020, Web.

Istvan, Zoltan. “Should Surfing Be Allowed During the Pandemic?” New York Times, 2020, Web.

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