religious attitudes to the elderly and death

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  • Religious attitudes to the elderly and death
    • Caring for the elderly
      • in  home visiting care
      • Sheltered accommodation = private yet social community
      • Care home
      • Hospice
        • On average people stay for two weeks respite or until death
        • Hospices were set up by christians for sick travellers
        • Idea: If they're cared for they wont wish for euthenasia
        • Care for emotional, spiritual & physical well being of patient & family
        • St Anne's Hospice- opened in 1971
          • Treats 3000 patients a year
            • 95% cancer related illnesses
              • Each given a personal care plan
          • Need to raise £16000 a day through voluntary contributions
          • 42% return home
    • Buddhism says:
      • May all people be happy
      • forever in debt to our parents
      • old people are a demonstration of anicca, so we learn from them
      • Hinduism says:
        • Whoever honours his father honours the creator himself. Whoever honours their mother, honours the earth itself (Mahabharata)
        • The whole purpose of human existence is to benefit other people
      • Islam says:
        • Your lord orders that you...be kind to parents (Qur' an)
        • Intefering with Allah's plans is wrong
        • Do not take life - except for a just cause (Qur' an)
        • Passive euthenasia is accepted where there's no hope
      • Judaism says :
        • Honour your father & mother (Ten commandments)
        • See that they [parents] eat & drink & take them where they want to go
        • Don't cast me off in old age, when my strength fails me (Psalms)
        • One who is in a dying condition is regarded as a living person in all respects
      • Sikhism says:
        • It's the greatest sin to quarrel with parents who've given you birth and brought you up (Adi Granth)
        • Mother's always forgive and forget, so you should too
      • Death's inevitable, but it's wrong to speed it up
        • However a primary guiding principle is relief of suffering
          • so, Buddhism supports hospice movement
        • I will abstain from taking life (first precept)
        • Suffering before death may be part of karma they have to work through
          • Hindu's agree with this
            • It's not wrong for dying Hindu's to not accept medication or food (passive)
            • Ahisma (non-harming) is principle
            • by taking their own life [they] will suffer even more in the next life - Yajur Veda
    • Euthenasia
      • Illegal in UK
        • Doctors administer life shortening pain relief drugs
      • 'I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest such counsel...' Doctors oath
      • Active euthenasia - person killed to end suffering
      • Passive euthanasia - allowing dying person to end life faster by taking away medical support
      • UK - breaking suicide Act 1961
      • assisstance = 14 year sentence (manslaughter / murder)
      • No brain activity = Doctors switch off life-support machines
  • Suffering before death may be part of karma they have to work through
    • Hindu's agree with this
      • It's not wrong for dying Hindu's to not accept medication or food (passive)
      • Ahisma (non-harming) is principle
      • by taking their own life [they] will suffer even more in the next life - Yajur Veda

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