Religion vs. Medical Care
April 23, 2013
As Mrs. Johnson waits in the doctor’s office, she hopes to finally hear after two years of trying to conceive that she is expecting. A very successful twenty eight year old woman feels enthusiastic about her possibility of being pregnant, after four years of marriage. Dr. Neil enters the room and began to inform her that she has stage three ovarian cancer and he would like to start treatment as soon possible. Mrs. Johnson looks at the doctor and says,”No treatment, I know my faith in God will heal me.” Mrs. Johnson believes that God and her faith will heal her body, because it is a temple that God has made. The beliefs of different religions can lead to unnecessary pain, restricted care, and possible death. The first problem is that religious beliefs can lead to unnecessary pain. Nurse Nancy is the God mother of Mrs. Johnson. She works in the oncology unit, and she knows how much pain the patient’s have to endure. Pain is the primary assessment that has to be under control in order to keep the patient comfortable. Medication is the primary way that the oncology unit control’s the patient’s pain. Some patient’s religious beliefs can influence the choice of taking the medications; because of diet restriction and the by-product of the medicine. Next let’s define the word pain and how it affects the human body. Pain is defined as localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder such as a disease or injury (Longman, 1997). Pain can affect the body’s major vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, and respirations. When someone is in pain the signal is delivered to the hypothalamus. As a result that causes the medulla oblongata to respond. Meanwhile the patience’s heart rate begins to beat much faster, therefore causing the heart to pump blood at a faster rate than normal. When that occurs, the blood pressure tends to increase, resulting in an increase in heart rate. The chain reaction affect produce rapid breathing, therefore more gas exchange occurs having an imbalance in your body’s homeostasis. Different religious beliefs can cause the patients’ to continue to suffer with pain. In the Buddhist faith the followers will not take medications that are made from animals. Because they are mainly vegetarians, they are not allowed to consume anything from animals. Likewise with the Hindu’s, they are also vegetarians, and do not consume any animal by products (Ehman, 2012). The Buddhist community prefers non pharmacological alternatives instead of medicine. These methods will only work at a certain level, but it will not reduce the pain for ovarian cancer. Buddhist patients’ also believe the mind has to be clear for meditation, otherwise the medicine could interfere with spiritual mind. Some patients of the Muslim faith will refuse pain medication, because they believe in a spiritual experience for enrichment. Patients’ in the Muslim faith see suffering as a gateway that can only enhance them towards their healing process (Ehman, 2012). The patient will wait to ask for pain medication or just refuse to accept it. Their emotional reserve toward suffering might have them feeling guilty by accepting the medication. The Muslim followers must pray up to five times a day by kneeling and bending, but if they are not able to medically there are exceptions. Secondly, various religious beliefs are observed to have unlimited medical care; however, some faiths’ have restriction for their followers not to seek medical treatment. One case was a 15 year old girl who had suffered with asthma for years. The family had refused to accept treatment for their daughter, because their church forbids medical treatment (Gallegos, 2011). Once the social worker was involved and the possibility of having their child removed from the home, it resulted in the parents agreeing to have the necessary treatment. The young girl was under a doctor care and received...
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