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Define dying within context of faith, basic principle about human life

Define dying within context of faith, basic principle about human life

Define dying within context of faith, basic principle about human life

Define dying within context of faith, basic principle about human life
Define dying within context of faith, basic principle about human life

Death can be found everywhere we look. The most certain aspect of life is death. Each of us will be touched by death at some point. Because we are all destined to die, dying and death will become a personal, intimate experience at some point in time.

Our feelings and beliefs about death shape how we live our lives in large part. Identification and examination of these feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and values leads to greater insight and understanding when confronted with a death situation.

Because nurses are frequently involved in situations involving death or life extension, we must reflect on our feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and values about living and dying.

This program is intended for nurses who work with people who are dying on a regular basis. This includes all of us, whether we are actively engaged in clinical practice or are simply going about our daily lives.

This program’s goal is to provide basic information that will be useful in dealing with people who are facing death or the loss of someone they care about. Because it is rarely addressed in a straightforward manner in professional literature, and because the author believes Christ is the only true source of hope for anyone facing death, the program is written from a Biblical Christian perspective.

Determining Death
Death represents the unavoidable end of every human life, because all living organisms decay and perish with time in the created order of nature. From the moment of conception, man is inevitably involved in death.

Man has been fascinated by death since the dawn of time. It has always been a topic that has raised many questions, many of which are difficult to answer: What exactly is death? What happens when a person dies? What happens to a person’s soul or spirit after death? Is there an afterlife?

Because of legal and technical issues, defining death has become increasingly difficult. In this age of transplants and fantastic life-sustaining machines, determining the moment of death is a question with enormous societal and moral implications.

Death is not an instantaneous event; rather, it is a process, the first stages of which can be reversed. Some of the terms used to define death are as follows:

All vital functions, such as heartbeat and respiration, come to a halt.
Cardiac arrest, as confirmed by an electrocardiogram.
Unresponsiveness of the brain – no movements or breathing, no reflexes, and a flat electroencephalogram
Clinical appearance of death signs on physical examination prior to technical death pronouncement
All cellular activity has ceased biologically.
The separation of body and spirit is a Biblical definition of death. “The body without the spirit is dead,” the Bible says. (JAMES 2:26)

Death and the definition of death are both subjective. Many facts about death are known, but some aspects of death remain a mystery. It is critical for us to recognize that everyone views and defines death differently, and we must respect those differences even if we disagree with them.

Changes in Culture and Society
In 1900, children under the age of 15 accounted for 53% of all deaths in the United States. At the time, the average lifespan was 47 years. Today, a Caucasian male can expect to live for more than 74 years, and a Caucasian female can expect to live for 79 years. People are living longer lives, and as a result, death occurs more frequently in old age.

With increased longevity has come a shift in the causes of death. Many of the illnesses that cause death today, as illustrated in Figure 1 on the following page, are degenerative lingering illnesses. Even heart diseases have become chronic illnesses in this age of rapid medical and technological advances. Because many illnesses are chronic and debilitating, major lifestyle changes are frequently required, which can be stressful for the ill person and his family. The longer the dying process lasts, the more emotional, physical, and financial stresses confront the individual and his family.

Define dying within context of faith, basic principle about human life

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