Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity

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Running Head: FAITH DIVERSITY

Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity
Grand Canyon University: HLT 310V
June 3, 2012

Abstract
This paper provides a comprehensive look at the following faiths: Buddhism, Judaism, Baha’i, and Christianity. The reader will find that Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion that focuses on the mind as being the creator of illness and health. The reader will also find that Judaism, Baha’i, and Christianity are all religions that believe in one God, the creator of all. This paper lists various components that each of these faiths may use at one time or another to effect healing including prayer, meditation, chanting, the use of healers, etc. This paper also defines what is important to people when cared for by providers whose beliefs differ from their own.

Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity
Health care providers come into contact with patients of many different faiths on a daily basis. In order to provide the best possible care to all patients it is important for caregivers to understand the basic components of each of these faiths. However, since it is impossible to know everything about every religion presented to us, we must ask our patients directly about their faith and what role it will or needs to play in their health care. This author presents a comprehensive review of three faiths/religions and how they relate to the Christian perspective on health and healing. The faiths presented are Buddhism, Judaism, and Baha’i. It is hoped that with a greater understanding of these three faiths, this author as a caregiver, will be able to give more specific and comprehensive care to her patients. Buddhism

Buddhism is much more a philosophy than it is a religion in that it explains a way of life or of being (White, B., 1993). The path of a Buddhist can be summed up in the following way: “to lead a moral life; to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions; and to develop wisdom and understanding” (White, B., 1993, p. 1). Buddhist’s do not worship Buddha or other idols and Buddha did not claim to be a God. Instead Buddha was a man who experienced enlightenment and who taught others of his experience. Buddhists pay respect to the images of Buddha because his image reminds them to strive to develop peace and love from within (White, B., 1993).

The Buddhist spiritual perspective on healing believes the mind is the creator of illness and of health. Their concept of mind is that it is non-physical and has the ability to know. They believe that problems or illnesses are like clouds that block the sun. They are temporary and can be removed from the mind by eliminating negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts (Hawter, P., 1995). They also believe in the power of karma, which means action. Actions can be positive, negative, or neutral and they are never lost by the mind. Actions leave imprints in the mind and at any time they can “ripen.” Negative actions can form problems or illnesses while positive actions can form happiness, health, or success. To heal a present illness, they must engage in positive actions. To prevent illness, they must purify or clear the negative karmic imprints that remain (Hawter, P., 1995). Blessing of pills and water that is consumed to treat illness and disease is practiced by Buddhists. Some Buddhist’s use healers or “lamas” that bless medicine and procedures. Lamas may also blow on the affected body part to effect healing or pain relief (Hawter, P., 1995). Other components of healing include visualization, meditation, reciting of prayers and mantras as well as performing ceremonies to “stop the spirit harm and allow the person to recover” (Hawter, P., 1995, p.4) “Lama Zopa Rinpoche, a highly realized Tibetan Lama, says the most powerful healing methods of all are those based on compassion, the wish to free other beings from their suffering” (Hawter, P., 1995, p. 4). Judaism

Judaism is the oldest...
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