Healthcare Provider and Faith Diversity
September 14, 2012
This paper compares the philosophies of three diverse faiths, that of: Buddhism, Islam, and Christian Science, comparing them to Christianity. We will look at basic beliefs, spiritual perspectives on healing, beliefs about healthcare, and components of healing such as prayer, meditation, and rituals followed. We will also look at what is important to know when caring for a person with different beliefs and cultural views, so that we may treat them with respect, dignity and promote the healing process. Healthcare Provider and Faith Diversity
The practice of nursing brings you in contact with people of many different faiths; this requires knowledge and acceptance of multiple religions and beliefs. Compared to Christianity the philosophies of Buddhism, Christian Science, and Islam have dramatically different beliefs regarding health, illness, healing and death. We will look at each of these religions from a spiritual perspective, their beliefs on healing, prayer, meditation, rituals and the afterlife. What is important to know when caring for a person of another faith and culture so that we may treat them with dignity and respect? Buddhism is a religion indigenous to the Indian subcontinent that consists of a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices based of the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha meaning “the Awakened one”. Healing from a Buddhist perspective is a process of mind and body. The mind is non-physical; it is formless, shapeless, and genderless and has the ability to “know”. The mind is basically limitless and pure and is the creator of sickness and health. Buddhist believes in the idea of karma, meaning anything we do or think can affect us in the future. To heal current sickness we have to engage in positive actions now. To prevent illness in the future have to purify or clear the negative imprints. Buddhism asserts that everything that happens to us now is a result of our previous actions, not only in this life but in past lives; it is a philosophy of personal responsibility, to control our destiny, including the state of our body and mind. Each person has unlimited potential it just has to be developed. (Numrich, 2001) Buddhist believes that the root of our problems and sickness is selfishness; we must avoid anger, greed, and thoughts of jealousy. When a person dies the consciousness which has all the karmic imprints from previous lives, separates from the body and moves to a new life. Buddhist believes in a calm and peaceful state of mind at death, this may influence their rebirth. Buddhist medicine is mostly herbal medicine that is blessed with prayers and mantras giving it more power. Visualization and meditation is also used to heal including visualizing holy images and reciting mantras. (Hawter, 1995) Comparing Christianity to Buddhism, Buddhism predates Christianity by 500 years and may have influenced the thinking that eventually resulted in Christianity. Buddhist do not believe in an immortal soul or a supreme deity in God. Christians believe Jesus Christ is the son of God who was crucified and died for our sins, and was then resurrected from the dead. Christians believe Jesus will absolve you of your sins, and grant your permission into heaven. Buddhist believe attainment of enlightenment comes from within and is a personal quest; no deity is involved or required. Christianity is based on the concept of one person one lifetime, Buddhism allows for numerous (potentially countless) lifetimes of progress towards enlightenment. Christianity believes in a struggle between good and evil, the does and don’ts which are listed in the 10 commandments, and others. Buddhism includes an eight fold path of general suggestions to a more satisfying life. The next religion looked at is that of Islam which means “submission”...