Spirituality in Healthcare



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The sense of God in illnesses and recovery is an essential influenceupon the health care beliefs and practices of different religiousgroups. Faith among many other beliefs and behaviors takes the centerstage in determining the progress of an ill-health person towardsacquiring medical support. It is significant for the medicalpractitioners to understand beliefs and behaviors of a diversereligious group so as to provide the support that does not crash withtheir faith. This paper seeks to evaluate the influence of faith,beliefs and practices of different religions towards healthcareissues. It will involve gaining knowledge about how differentreligions perceive healthcare measures in relation to their faith andspirituality.

This paper looks at the relationship between religion and healthcareand evaluates how medical practitioners should respond to the healthissues of a diverse religious community without interfering withtheir faith and other spiritual matters. Both patient and the doctorneed to recognize each other vintage point. It just means that thepatient understands that the doctor intends to do his best but wherematters of spirituality emerge, the doctors should apply a mutual andelaborate model of healthcare to avoid interfering with the patient’srights healing and recovery from the wail (Stores, 2004). Forinstance, the doctor might analyze the cause of a disease, prescribethe best medicine but not a must for the medicine to contain hundredpercentage healing potential. Since this drug cannot be consideredideal, only God can have the perfect cure.

Religion is an area that covers our daily lives because we followcertain beliefs and behavior that are guided by the faith establishedin that religion. Religion is as well significant to the medicalpractitioners. In fact, religion is an active element that linkshuman being to a society and superior forces that dictate thepsychological stability of the human beings. The health workers suchas clinicians, nurses, doctors, and psychologists can use thereligion belief of faith as a tool for empowering the patients so asto enhance a healthy lifestyle. The ability of strengthening apatient or any other person in need stems from religious principlesof faith, sanctity of the person’s life, shared roles in thesociety, social and economic development of human being, and usefuland valuable leadership at times of conflict. Healthcare shouldincorporate a culture of understanding between the patients andhealth providers, to enhance achievement and protection of thepersonal interests.

Influence of Religion on Health

The main prominent areas in which religion influences health are:health behaviors such as diet, beverages, smoking social supportsuch as religionists and web social platforms psychological statessuch as positivity and faith, managing stress and sobriety and thenatural influences that are governed by the science of energy. Withthe increasing influence of the western medicine to the society,religion has taken the center stage in defining the concept of faithin dealing with life occurrences that could create discomfort for thehuman being. Since faith is eclectic and individualized, religion hasoptimized beliefs and practices that apply to the birth, healthyliving, illnesses and death (Jonathan S. Watts, 2012).

Concerning the religious beliefs and practices, medical practitionersare trying to understand the significant of these practices topatients when it is the question of decision making, coping withgrief, network support, dedication to treatment regimens, and theinfluence of the contemporary issues to the human wellbeing.Similarly, patients are keen in observing how their faith andreligious practices are appreciated while they are looking for healthsupport in hospitals (Niles, 2010).

The personnel inquiry on spiritual beliefs and practices of a patientshould not upset the patient and even to those who do not hold tosuch beliefs. The interrogations should occur in a respectful anddelicate manner. In case the patient indicates no strict adherence tothe religious matter, then the medical practitioner should prescribethe best approach to maximize patient’s health condition. Factorsthat could promote the selection of particular health behaviors overthe other should be explored and given supportive meaning as to whythey are significant (Podmore, 2011). Moreover, the doctors and besensitive to providing the prescription or getting in the real workon the patient so as to avoid offending religious patients. If thereare indications that the patient is facing religious conflicts, thensuch issues need to come out broadly to prevent taking a procedurethat could leave the patient more vulnerable, hence worsening thecondition.

Medical practitioners should act in the best way in supporting thepatients especially when they raise the existential questions. It isbecause the religious faith may drive some patients in believing thatthe sickness is a punishment from God. This kind of mentality islikely to compromise the efficiency of the medicine administered,thus delaying patient’s modalities of acquiring good health. It isnot until a person experiences struggle in life, illness, or loss ofsomething valuable that bottomless religious faith materialize out ofthe challenges.

Beliefs by Diverse Religions on Health, Diet, Illness and Death

Buddhist Faith Community

Buddhist is among the largest religions in the world. Buddhist faithgrounds on Buddha, who is considered, not as a god, but as a model ofthe way of life. The religious teachings from this community centeron what is referred to as the “Four Noble Truths.” They elaborateon the idea of sufferings as part of human life. Correspondingly,different means of overcoming the difficult times in the course ofhuman life are underlined. For instance, this religion highlightsthe following actions:

  • Acknowledging the four aspects of reality

  • Eliminating bad feelings towards others.

  • Avoiding being abusive or slanderous to others

  • Not to kill any living organism

  • Accepting what is presented

  • Striving to acquire the meaning of life.

  • Finding sense based on the occurrences in the human environment.

According to Buddhists, afflictions and struggles are as a result ofmisunderstanding with the requirements of nature, hence leading to adiscontented life. Their faith indicates that life begins atconception (Hollins, 2009). With the life being transient, Buddhistindicates that they can evade pains and struggles of life byconditioning their mind to the Eightfold principle.

Health and Illnesses: Buddhist believes that people with superiorspirituality responds to illnesses quickly and safely. The spiritualbalance of faith is essential to this community in getting thepatient through a sickness. They connect knowledge to compassion soas to gain full potentials to deal with different measures to dealwith diseases and the sufferings of the life. Men and womenimportance but the mother’s responsibility is to bring the childinto this life and help them in growing up. Due to this, women arerespected and treated with gratitude.

Birth: – it symbolizes a unique and auspicious occurrence.

Death- this is transition point of life. The deceased is provident anexcellent environment to maintain his state of mind in good shape. Atthe temporary housing, the beloved make prayers support one anotherand maintain the deceased at the perfect state of mind. A postmortemcan be conducted and then cremation (Niles, 2010).

Diet: – Great emphasis is made on the importance of a balanced diet,with some Buddhist being vegetarians while others arenon-vegetarians.

Roman Catholics Belief

Church is instrumental in showing kindness and valuing of the humanlife. The insight drawn from the religious beliefs and practicesground to the faith. Catholics are critical about the prayers,observing the Holy Trinity and the other practices that show respectsto both the religion and God. Moreover, the effectiveness of theirfaith hinges on creating a close relationship with God, ThroughChrist Jesus, who is the author of the life. The physical healing isessential to body, soul and mind, but the actual healing is given byGod. Catholic belief that God speak to the human being usinganointed persons such as pastors or ministers (Stores, 2004). Thetruth about suffering and pain is underlined in the Bible, to make itclear what pertains in dealing with long sufferings and discouragingtimes in life. This pastoral environment highlights the depth ofChristian faith in relation to healthcare issues.

Health and illness: – when people are unwell, they are encouraged tomake prayers of faith that it is well with them. They make thisprayer with the reference to other Christians and Saints who theybelieve occupies the holy position with God. The Holy persons arerich in mercy and, therefore, intervene in their behaviors to God theFather. However, physical healing is essential to Catholics. Theyseek medical support from clinics as an intervention to both physicaland spiritual wellbeing.

Birth: – Catholics believe that life starts at conception and,therefore, any measures aimed at controlling birth are prohibited bytheir religious laws. Abortion is equivalent to killing, yet childrenare gifts from God (Stores, 2004). However, if a mother is goingthrough a life threatening operation and happens to lose the fetusthrough this operation, she is not held accountable for that death. In case of death of unborn, the mother seek prayers from the fellowChristians in order acquire blessing from God.

Death and Grief: – when the body separates from the soul, that is theend of human life. Catholics believe that the human soul receivesinstant judgment from the Lord, and the soul is taken to hell orheaven. The loved ones pray for the soul of the deceased person as toreceive lenient mitigation during purgatory (Budrys, 2011).

Diet: – to symbolize love at the crucifixion of Christ, Catholics areencouraged to abstain from meat on Good Fridays. It prepares theChristians in remembrance of the resurrection of Christ. AshWednesdays is also part of their faith.

Medical Treatment: – Ministers and bishop give Catholics cautionsagainst seeking medical support that are beyond the ordinary ones.They believe that death is unavoidable, and at the same time is anabsolute path of taking us to the Lord for eternal life.

The beliefs of the two religions are similar in some ways. WhileChristians believes in interventions from the healthcare, Buddhistsbelieve that artificial medical support is essential to supplementtheir social and spiritual growth. Moreover, medical supportconsiders the religious beliefs of the two religions beforeprescribing a given medication to avoid offending their faith andreligious matters.


Healing is both spiritual and physical aspect. Most important,healing from the supernatural powers hinges on the faith and otherspiritual beliefs by the patient. If the recovery is through healthcare, it is effective in supplementing the social and spiritualwellbeing. Healing is essential to body, soul and body.


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JonathanS. Watts, Y. T. (2012). BuddhistCare for the Dying and Bereaved.Sommerville: Wisdom Publication.

Niles,N. J. (2010). Basicsof the U.S. Health Care System.Ontario: Jones &amp Bartlett Publishers.

Podmore,F. (2011). Mesmerismand Christian Science: A Short History of Mental Healing.New York: Cambridge University Press.

Stores,B. (2004). CHRISTIANSCIENCE: Its Encounter With Lesbian/Gay America.New York: iUniverse.