Religious attitudes to the Elderly and death.

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Sanctity of life:
All life has value and is precious, sacred and a gift from God.
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Quality of life:
How good or bad someone's life is. It means good quality life is more important than living in pain or suffering.
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Law concerning death and euthanasia:
Suicide has been legal in Britain since 1961. Aiding someone in suicide is illegal. Therefore active euthanasia is illegal. Counts as either manslaughter or murder.
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Active euthanasia:
Actively taking someone's life e.g. a fatal dose of medicine or an injection so the die peacefully and without pain.
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Passive euthanasia:
The withdrawal of treatment that is keeping a person alive e.g. turning off a life support machine.
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Arguments FOR legalising euthanasia:
Quality of life. Right to choose. Saves medical resources. Expensive to keep someone alive. Saves dignity & respect. Relieves pain and suffering. Life support is 'playing God'.
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Arguments AGAINST legalising euthanasia:
Sanctity of life. Burden on families. People may regret making choice. 'Playing God'. Shouldn't interfere with what will happen naturally. Doing it for the wrong reason e.g. inheritance.
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Definition of 'death'.
The end of life. When the bodys's systems shut down.
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Hospitals:
Hospitals work on sanctity of life and provide health care and administer medicine. They diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases.
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Hospices
Hospices work on the quality of life to ensure comfort and support during a terminally ill person's end of life. They provide counselling and support for the patient's family.
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Own home (advantages and disadvantages):
+ Comfort, independence, familiarity, pets, sentiment, privacy, - Expensive bills, not monitored, memory loss, may not have visitors, may forget medication and miss meals.
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Self-determination in relation to euthanasia:
Fit state of mind to make decision.
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Who can life-support machines help and when would it get switched off?
Premature/ very sick babies, people after major surgery, those in trauma. Brain stem dead= machine switched off.
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What is the Christian belief about life after death?
Death is the end of life on earth. Day of Judgement> heaven (paradise) or hell (deprived of ever seeing God).
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What is the Muslim belief about life after death?
Remain in grave until Day of Judgement (a day decided by Allah where he destroys everything) and will either go to paradise or hell.
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What is purgatory?
Where every imperfection in our soul is correct"- Pope John Paul II.
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Christian attitudes and teachings to caring for the elderly:
'Honour your father and mother' (10 commandments). 'Listen to your father who gave you life and do not hate your mother when she is old'. Regular contact.
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How does religion provide support for Christians?
Churches provide clubs, outings & transport to church or take Holy Communion to them if housebound. e.g. St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham provides palliative care for the dying.
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Buddhist attitudes and teachings to caring for the elderly:
Respected for wisdom & experience. Caring for parents is a duty & responsibility. Work with hospices if personal care isn't possible. 'Avoid harming living beings'. Metta & Karuna. 'Right action', 'Right intention'.
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What is Dukkha, Metta and Karuna?
Metta= loving/ kindness. Karuna= compassion. Dukkha (third mark of existance) teaches suffering is part of life and should be accepted
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Religious beliefs towards life support:
All believe in sanctity of life and will use it if there is hope of survival. Die with dignity, turn off to prevent poor quality life. 'Playing God'. Prolonging life is against Allah's will. Consider Kammic effects of action.
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Christian teachings towards death and euthanasia:
'Do not kill'. 'I, your God, give life, and I take it away'. 'Love your neighbour as yourself'. Quality of life vs sanctity of life. Playing God.
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Buddhist teachings towards death and euthanasia:
'Right intention'. 'Right action'. 'Avoid harming living beings'. Metta, Karuna, Dukkha. Dying is opportunity for spiritual development. 'Health is the greatest of gifts'.
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Muslim views & teachings towards death and euthanasia:
Funeral immediately after death. Allah's choice when someone dies. 'Neither kill nor destroy yourself'. 'Do not take life'. 'Euthanasia is zulm' (wrong doing against Allah). Passive euthanasia is accepted. Suffering might be Allah's plan.
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Card 2

Front

Quality of life:

Back

How good or bad someone's life is. It means good quality life is more important than living in pain or suffering.

Card 3

Front

Law concerning death and euthanasia:

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Active euthanasia:

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Passive euthanasia:

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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