Religious Beliefs in Health Care
April 12, 2014
Influence of Religious Beliefs on Health Care Being one of the world’s oldest religions in existence, Hinduism ranks as the third largest religion, (Srinivasan, p. 66). Today, there are approximately seven hundred million individuals worldwide that practice Hinduism. While majority of them reside in India, (Wangu, p. 6), many can be found in the Trinidad, Guyana, and Africa. Those that take interest in studying the religion must first realize that Hinduism is more than just a way of life, (Srinivasan, pg. 66). Hinduism holds together diversity and not only for its own spiritual tradition, but for the entire subcontinent of
India, (Berry 3). When it comes to healthcare beliefs, Indians believe in many different things. For instance, hospital food can be a problem if their religion does not allow them eat to eat certain things. Beef is forbidden in the Indian culture, as Pork is forbidden in the Muslim religion. For some Hindu the food prepared in the hospital may be forbidden because it may have been contaminated with other foods they do not believe in eating. Many bring food from home for that person. Also hospital food may be too bland for most Asian Indians. The hospital gowns you are given when checked into the ER are also forbidden, because they have been worn before them. Even though they have been washed and sterilized. If a bladder catheterization has to be done it must be done by someone of the same sex as the patient. When admitted friends and family will want to stay with that person thru their stay. They feel that is a way of supporting them. Many feel that Western medicine tend to overmedicate. Rituals performed and celebrated from the time of conception to the moment of death are called samskara, (Wangu, p. 111). Hindus practice “samskara” traditional rites of passage to mark the transitions a person makes as he/she gets older, (Srinivasan 67). These traditions are broken down into four
References: Srinivasan, Radhika. Cultures of the World - India. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 1993. Wangu, Madhu Bazaz. Hinduism: World Religions. New York: Facts on File Incorporated, 1991.