Should spiritual beliefs play a role in end of life care?

  • Beliefs, be they spiritual or not, define what care is.

    The decisions required during the end of life are moral decisions. Belief guides morality. The decisions required during the end of life are moral decisions. As one who is making the end of life decisions, you should do what you understand the dying person believes to be good. The care-taker should forget about his/her own moral standings. Any blood, or sin, performed by the caretaker according to the beliefs of the dying should be blamed upon the dying. If the dying had no moral stance, then the caretaker should also lack moral stance. Do what the dying believes to be good. Every caretaker should do for the dying what each dying person would want to do for someone else.

  • Case by case

    If you're on your death bed and don't believe in any religion, it shouldn't be shoved in your face, that's absurdly disrespectful. But, if you do identify with a certain following, I see no reason to deny you it. It people want it they should be granted it without question.

  • Spiritual Beliefs Reflect Freedom of Religion

    Spiritual beliefs are extremely personal and rarely more so than when put into the context of such a significant point in a person’s life. Even if someone is atheist, that is an expression of his or her views on spirituality in general. Just as a person of faith, regardless of the origin of their beliefs, should be allowed to transition from the final moments of life, those who hold no such beliefs should not be forced into care that is unwanted. Some may feel that death with dignity is one that comes sooner rather than later, even if it means medical assistance where others believe that divine plans or nature should be allowed to take its course. My opinion is that it is wrong to force either option onto a person who holds opposing beliefs. This also applies to medical care providers who may object to euthanization. Someone who wants to end a terminal condition before it becomes too painful or dehumanizing should not try to force a doctor to help end their life early with drugs if the doctor in question does not agree with that sort of practice. Laws should also reflect this freedom of spiritual practice.

  • Yes, but on an optional, individual basis.

    It's perfectly fine for spiritual beliefs to play a role in end of life care for an individual, but not for everyone. There should be other options available and if those who are spiritual do not like those options or do not wish to partake in them for themselves or their families, the spirituality should not be the overriding factor. It is a very personal decision and spirituality cannot be mandated or legislated, but it should be allowed.

  • No, it should be a person's choice.

    There is nothing worse than watching a person who is dying have to endure the religious beliefs of those around them and be subjected to rituals and rules that reflect those beliefs in order to satisfy someone else's thoughts about dying and the afterlife. Families will often call in a religious figure to administer last rights or to pray over a dying person when that person may well be an atheist, or someone who has just rejected the beliefs of their church. This is something that should be a part of Power of Attorney contracts where you can appoint a person to represent your wants if you are not able to do so.

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