Goffs School Religious Studies

AQA Unit 4 – Matters of Death

Unit 4 Religious Attitudes to the Elderly and Death

Within this topic candidates should be aware of religious beliefs and teachings concerning the value of life, the treatment of the elderly, death and what happens after death. They should be aware of the implications of these and of developments in medicine and medical ethics for the ways in which people respond to situations within this area and in particular to the following topics:

• the concepts of the sanctity and quality of life;

• senior citizenship, including experience, retirement, role within the family, ageism, finance and health;

• the role of the family and community in caring for the elderly and the nature of individual and corporate responsibility, including the work of homes for the elderly, hospitals and hospices;

• the law concerning death and euthanasia; the use of life support machines to sustain life and the problems associated with making decisions about whether to continue life by artificial means or whether and under what circumstances a machine should be switched off and a life terminated;

• the problems associated with a definition of death and the significance of the heart and the brain together;

• the issue of the right to self-determination in relation to euthanasia;

• the distinction between active and passive euthanasia and the contemporary debate about euthanasia;

• the comfort given by religions to the dying and the mourning and beliefs about life after death.


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