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Religious analysis of death

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  1. Introduction
  2. Opinion concerning what happens to the spirit after physical death
  3. The Buddhists
  4. The hippocratic oath
  5. Euthanasia
  6. The Anglican Church and euthanasia
  7. Eastern religions and euthanasia
  8. Conclusion

Many controversies arise from the interaction between human ideas and religious thought. One of the issues that create much confusion among religious scholars, as well as the average man has been death. Since it is believed that there is no turning back, death raises many questions, and creates a basis for how we live our lives. Each religion has a different perspective on what occurs after death, but the overarching question is who gets to decide when it is time to end ones life. This has been seen through the growing debate over euthanasia, which raises the question of who decides when it is time to die. Is it the divine or does man have control? Scientifically speaking death occurs in stages. First human respiration ends, and the person fails to breathe. Next due to the lack of oxygen entering the bloodstream the circulation stops, which in turn fails to replenish the cells with in the body. Following the stop in circulation the brain fails to function, again due to the lack of oxygen and blood reaching the brain. Finally, after brain death, all other cells fail to function, due to the lack of oxygen, and lack of signals being sent. With modern technology, death is also reversible until the brain becomes inactive. Yet, as we all know, there is much more that happens with death, not just physically, but both mentally and spiritually as well. Death serves as a social function, which can affect the lives of many people, which makes it a vital consideration in everyday life.

[...] Most of the discussion was based on the Not Resuscitate? orders, and the no code in some hospitals. DNR orders are if someone makes a written statement that, they do not want to be brought back to life if they are terminally injured. Religiously these can be respected more so than active euthanasia, because it was God who put them in that situation. In addition, the code? or ?slow code? in hospitals are when the staff takes a long time to bring a dying person into the operating room, because they made a wish not to continue life on machines. [...]

[...] Many religious leaders also see the act of suicide as selfish since the person is taking their life with out the consideration of others. Yet, in our modern society we have come to a religious fork in the road concerning suicide, and God's plan. This is mainly due to euthanasia, and physician assisted suicide, where the person wants to end their life due to physical stress. The Hippocratic oath, which every physician must adhere to, says will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel?. [...]

[...] As the world continues to advance, more and more people are taking control of their lives, leaving religious values behind. This is a trend seen with the use of medicine, weapons, drugs, and other harmful substances which may stray from God's plan Yet, God has given us the ability to rationalize and make our own decisions, but where can we draw a line between where we can decide for ourselves, and what God has decided? Personally, I feel that each situation is different, and that one should be able to make the choice for them. [...]

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