A different perspective: Behavior analysis and communication strategy

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Diversity of beliefs and values are a practical reality between two people coming from different ethnicity. My girlfriend argued that it is proper and correct to decide to help end the suffering of both the patient and his family through assisted suicide or euthanasia. She does not want to see too much pain and it would break her heart to see people suffer. She was considering the physical pain, the financial burden and the stress that it will bring both the patient and the family. I definitely argued against the idea because it is not morally right to assist any person to end his life because of physical suffering.

If you are a Catholic suffering is something you treat like cleansing of the body and soul. Suffering brings to a person a different level of spirituality like some kind of a different understanding about life. Suffering brings the patient and the members of the family closer to God through prayers. Each member of the family learns more about compassion and how to let go and let God do his works. We are not to take what God has given us. God gives, God takes! Our lives are his to take in his time not ours. We are to leave this world in his time.

Suffering brings us a different value for hope, faith and trust in the ability of God to play God. He may send the cure or simply take lives but the patient and the people near and are working with the patient has much to learn out of the situation according to what he needs to learn in his own travails of faith. My girlfriend was so conscious of the emotional and physical stress of the family members taking care of the patient. She was also calculating the medical expense along with the time each members of the family has to patiently put up that might affect personal social life and career.

She was firm to express that if a member of the family feels the patient has already suffered much and medical science lose hope for one’s recuperation then assisted suicide or euthanasia may come in. She was trying to bring the issue of economics and personal advancement in medical crisis such as this. I firmly believed that it is a sin against God to perform the acts of euthanasia or assisted suicide. It is an absolute act of distrust and losing hope in the power of God’s mercy.

We are to bear what God has sent us because he would not send anything beyond our capacity or limitations although sometimes we feel like it. Everything happens for a reason and we are to overcome suffering through love, sacrifice and prayers. Money is not at stake here, life is. Together a family may raise money and conquer any obstacles as long as they are united and work on it together. Besides there is Divine Providence by which we are to have faith and hope amidst the losing situation. When I showed her what I’ve recounted and written of the argument, she was awestricken.

My girlfriend feels everything is convertible to its equivalent dollar value and assess loses like an accounting balanced sheet. She affirms that both patients and family members suffer loses at the situation. I say everything else is up to the individual’s freewill and choice to hold on to hope, expect mercy and offer care out of love. There is such thing as miracles and Divine Plan. We cannot treat every aspect of our lives calculating its equivalent monetary value. It naturally strips people of compassion and the ability to connect sacrifice with God and love.

It was then that I realized that she needs help changing some behavior and thoughts about money, investment of time in relationship and support to nurture spirituality. Communication can be improved by learning and understanding the value of self disclosure. We are to encourage people and teach ourselves to learn to give and accept feedback to be able to solve personal issues and work effectively as a couple. Different people give different responses to certain issues. It would help to analyze difficult issues from an objective bystander viewpoint.

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