HEALTH CARE PROVIDER AND FAITH DIVERSITY 8
HealthCare Provider and Faith Diversity: First Draft
Christianityis based on the teachings of Christ Jesus, and His Father, “God”,who is all-powerful, ever-present, and all-good. With this in mind,Manca (2013) maintains that “God is all God is good, andtherefore, nothing evil, including illness exists” (pg. 781).Accordingly, this belief suggests the Christian view of healthcare isspiritual and pragmatic and dynamically supports a patient’s choiceto depend on Christian teachings for healing. Grounded inBible-based theology of Christianity, Christians are required tocarry out the ministry living by the commandments of Jesus to loveone another and with prayer, compassion, wisdom, and skill.Essential to the practice of Christianity is the gratefulness of aperson’s unique connection with God, and Christian’sacknowledgmente of the uniqueness of each individual’s spiritualpassage.
Movingon, when it comes to healthcare practices and beliefs, mostChristians may be more likely to accept conventional medicaltreatments however, therapy and drugs may be kept to a minimum. Toput things in perspective, they believe that Jesus is the ultimatehealer, no matter what may happen to them. Of particular importanceis the fact that Christians have to make decisions and choices thatfollow Christian principles. Considering this, Christians are againstabortion, as they believe an embryo is alive from the very moment ofconception (Manca, 2013). Some Christians are even opposed tomedications, while others believe that some medical treatments arebeneficial.
Hinduismdiffers a lot very much from Christianity, and there are the fourelements of water, earth, air, and fire which embody the fouressential fundamentals of mankind (physical, mental, emotional, andspiritual). If all four of these elements are in harmony, this isassuredly a state of optimal health. But if any or all are not insync, this is a state of sickness. When it comes to Hindu medicine,it is believed that meditation, mind over matter, and self-controlare the ways to health. In other words, man should takeresponsibility for himself and each other, and only go to God as alast resort. According to Wig (1999), “Hindu patients may expressstrong, culturally-based concerns about modesty, especially regardingtreatment by someone of the opposite sex” (pg. 94).
Hindusbelieve in Karma, which is an arrangement of both moral and cosmiccause and effect that can lead to spiritual growth, as they believethat health and beliefs are intrinsically connected. Above all, Hindus believe that physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healthare all inseparably connected and should be balanced to have ultimatethe best health. Since Hindus are often strictly vegetarians, andsome medications that are manufactured using animals can pose aproblem. Fasting is a common practice, and Hindu patients may wish totalk to their doctor about the implications in light of the medicaland dietary care plan.
Christianprime reality maintains that God the Almighty created and sustainsall things. On the contrary, Hindu religion teaches that ultimatereality is having a non-dual awareness that is infinite, indivisible,and all-pervading just like the sky (Shelly and Miller, 2006). Whenit comes to the nature of the world around us, Christians believethat man chose to rebel, and as a result, sin and death entered theworld through the first man and woman who were created by God. But tohave eternal life, mean can be imitators of Christ Jesus Christ.According to Hindu faith, there seems to be a compassionateidentification that connects humanity with the environment (Hailwood,2014). According to the Bible, Christians believe that humans werecreated in the image of God the Almighty. Hindus believe thatindividuals are an immortal, pure essence of each being, connectedwith the galactic dimensions of the world (Schall, 2014).
Christian’srely on the scriptures of, and the Bible which indicates that deathis a sleep. Simply put, “sleep” is described as the body’sstate in death. Even more, the Bible also persuasively speaks of thedecay of the body. In other words, man returns to the dust of theground. However, there is the hope of reincarnation that man will bebrought back to life (Schall, 2014). Hindus looks at death as themost exalted human experience, which is a critical transition withkarmic effects. Therefore, death should not be feared. Rendering tothe Hindu belief, after death, some souls may be born-again ashumans, without even going through the experiences of heaven or theunderworld. Most importantly, Hindus believe that a dying man`ssubsequent life is strictly determined by his preceding thought inthe current life. “In considering the following end-of-life issues,the Hindu seeks to preserve the natural timing of death, whilehumanely comforting and being present for the patient in a spiritualenvironment” (How Hindu Dharma, pg. 23).
Humanshave a wealth of knowledge, possibly as a result of being made in theimage of the all-knowing God. That being the case, mankind is aliving being with logos who think (Schall, 2014). Not to mention,humans can are able to distinguish right from wrong because of beingmade in the perfect image of God. Indeed, humans do have free will,but doing right or wrong is actually determined by the choices thatman makes as a result of unwavering ethics, and morals that arealways fluctuating (Colson, 1991). Christians believe that God madehumans to love Him and have compassion for each other. Nonetheless,God also created humans with total freedom, but within the limits oftheir dimensionality to allow mankind to express unconditional love(A View of Healing, 1998). According to Hinduism, there are fourpurposes of life: Dharma, to fulfill one`s purpose, but to live liferighteously Kama, to desire and enjoy sex: Artha, to haveprosperity and Moksha to have a sense of enlightenment (Raman,2002).
Somecomponents to the beliefs of Christianity are healing, prayer andmeditation. Speaking about this, many religious practices have beenconnected with healing for ages. Individuals pray for relief fromsickness, but most importantly, they pray for good health, when theyadhere to a belief system based on his or her interests, socialposition, cultural understandings and experiences, and culturalunderstandings (Manca, 2013). Prayer can be considered as a distinctform of meditation, and may hence transfer all the health benefitsthat have been allied with meditation. Manca (2013), maintains thatindividuals are ravenous for a much deeper sense of meaning relatedto their spirituality. When it comes to the mind and body connection,it seems that individuals have faith in and practice mysticism in theperspective of healing, and do not don’t steer away from thisbelief. In essence, the mind is viewed as a source of remedy that iswaiting to be further explored.
Whenbeing cared for by health professionals, patients of faithunderstands that the “spirit is seen as the core of human existenceand being fundamental to all humans, thus, it is the nurse’sresponsibility to address spiritual issues of patients” (Giske andCone, 2012, pg. 2006). This means that health professionals should becaring and loving, totally relying on God for strength they shouldsaturate their work with prayer take the initiative to silently prayfor patients be willing and ready to pray with patients, and givenondiscriminatory care regardless no matter of their belief system.Although there are some patients whose spiritual concerns gounattended because they are not looking for spiritual guidance, theyappeared to have benefitted from prayer and spiritual care (Giske andCone, 2012). Spirituality is a vital aspect for many individuals, andbeing able to address it and assimilate it into care can be a valuedskill because patients desire and want to be heard, but mostimportantly, be considered as respected participants of their healthcare team.
Theassignment has allowed this writer to really dig deep, assess, andthink critically. To be honest, this writer grew up knowing that itis it’s important to go to church, study, read the bible and livesaccording to the scriptures. This writer believes that there are manypaths where healing can arrive, and ones faith in God andimplementing prayer can be powerful paths.
Thiswriter believes that people can learn from individual experiences, aswell as from those of others. Most importantly, people can alsodevelop their own intuition or ask for guidance through meditationand prayer. Despite the debate, the role of religion is increasing,and efforts can be made to train healthcare professionals to have abetter understanding of spiritual practices, effectively listen to apatient`s spiritual concerns, and perhaps execute clergy-likeresponsibilities when spiritual experts are not accessible. For newnurses, Giske and Cone (2012) argues that, “The individual studentneeds knowledge about spirituality and good communication skillsGrowing self-awareness and personal maturity builds on theunderstanding of how one’s own life story influences strength andvulnerability” (pg. 2013). All in all, this writer believes in theimportance of respecting spirituality, because healthcareprofessionals play a vital role in respecting the spiritual diversityamid patients and their families. Respect is not a feeling rather,it is an action that individuals perform to show other people thatthey we value them, especially in nursing care. Ultimately, showingrespect brings healing to patients during compromising times ofsickness and loss.
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