Without any doubt, in the 21st century humans have invented many fully-fledged medical approaches in order to provide patients with the professional medical care. However, in the modern world the role of religion is still predominant, since people give preference more to their faith, rather than medical interference. Humans believe that health and spirituality are tightly connected, and the healing of psychological and physical disorders depends on personal beliefs in the healing abilities. On that ground, beliefs and practices are significant part of oral customs in which knowledge is passed from one generation to another systemizing and gathering achievements and practical skills from the previous generations. Consequently, it is highly recommended to analyze different faiths in order to demonstrate their processes of healing and to establish trustworthy relationships amidst the health care provider and the patient.
The Sikh religion is one of the newest religions that originated about 500 years ago. However, this religion belongs to the fifth largest religion in the world. It is known that the original name of this religion is Khalsa due to five articles of faith (5 Ks), such as Kesh (uncut hair is symbol of human spirituality) Kangha (a comb worn in hair is symbol of cleanliness), Kara (s steel wristlet represents connection to God), Kirpan (s sword demonstrates system of justice), and Kachhehra (breeches or shorts symbolize human morality and puirty). Moreover, people who profess this religion highly demand tolerant attitude and respect to their hair style, since a covering head represents the maintenance to 5 Ks. Sikhs believe that the physical life is perishable and soul is eternal. Moreover, Sikhism is built on the three pillars of Sikhism, such as thankfulness to God, sinless and moral life, and generosity. According to this philosophy, Sikhs have to pray three times per day in order to satisfy their religious views. The principles of care for a Sikh patient consist of respect for the patient’s religion and autonomy, sanctity of life, and honesty in the information provision. During times of disease, Sikhs pray in order to ask for the release from sins and forgiveness with the aim to obtain peace and full reocovery. At that time, Sikh patients can ask health care provider to impose silence, since they want to listen to Gurbani (the religious hymns) that help them to make a connection between God and their soles in order to get recovery. In this case, the sacred words provide Sikhs with physical and spiritual strength. Moreover, Sikh patients can request a tape recorder by their bedside with the aim to engross God’s words. The gender of medical worker is not vital, while Sikhs do not prohibit the treatment and diagnosis that is provided by a health care worker of the opposite sex. However, the patient can ask for the health care provider with the same sex; thus, hospital administration should take this request into account. Furthermore, Sinks allow any medical interference, whether it is blood transfusions, organ transplantation, and genetic engineering. However, Sinks highly ban human cloning and abortion. Additionally, the health care provider should immensely respect the privacy of the patient (since he/ she can be meditating) and patient’s maintenance to five Ks which the patients want to wear at all times (Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council, 2001). On the contrary to the Sikh religion, Christianity conducts its prayers in the church; there are no rules at what time to appeal to God. Moreover, Christians highly believe in the Holy Trinity, while Sikhs believe in one God. Another distinct difference of these religions is adoration of icons or statues in the Christian religion, while Sikhs apprehend it as idolatry. Furthermore, Sikhs believe that a veritable meditation can heal a patient; however, Christians speculate that meditation cannot bring a rapid recovery of the patient, since it can draw a patient nearer to God.
Historically, Native American spirituality goes back to the establishment of American tribe lives (approximately 40, 000 years ago). At that time, the tribes believed in the power of nature and its medical properties. Until 1978, the practice of Native American spiritually was forbidden, since it was realized as witchcraft. However, in 1978 the government adopted the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. This document significantly improved the lives of American Indian and gave free access to the practice of their herbal medicine. Native Americans strongly believe that humans should establish harmony with their inner world and the Creator. Thus, Native Americans speculate that physical diseases are related to the illness in the spiritual life as the result of disturbance of balance amidst human being and nature. In this case, one can observe an absolute disharmony between the mind, body, and the spirit. Furthermore, Native American spirituality is famous for the practice of the alternative medicine in which the rituals play a significant role. For instance, a shaman (a medium amidst the visual and spiritual world) can fumigate a pipe fulfilled with different herbs. In this case, Native Americans think that pipe is a symbol of the flow of life and can link a patient with the Great Spirit and precipitate the patient’s recovery. Native Americans have a prudent attitude to the Western medicine, since they think that nature can completely cure a patient of disease. However, when the health condition of Native American was dramatically deteriorated then he/ she applies to hospitals. At hospital, medical workers should respect the patient’s desire for meditation, since it gives the strength and power to the patient. However, the conflict between the patient and health care provider can be seen when the medical worker prohibits smoking of tobacco and other herbs due to its bad influence on health. Native American can smoke tobacco in order to connect with the Creator and to see visions that helps them to meditate. The main difference between the Christian religion and Native American spirituality can be amplified with the faith that every person was born with the sin and he/ she must choose the good way in order to connect with God; however, Native Americans reflect that bad and good, war and peace, happiness and sadness tightly correlate and cannot exist without the other. Moreover, these two faiths have different approaches towards health care system, since Christians do not refuse hospitalization, while Native Americans do not approve medical treatment, since only nature can bring a full recovery (Cohen, 1998).
The origin of Buddhism is found in 500 BC. This religion is based on the “Path of Life” of Buddha that includes five principles, such as retention from killing, theft, sexual misconduct, falsehood, and alcohol/ drug addiction. Furthermore, Buddhists reflect that Karma (the Law of cause and effect) is applicable to everyone, since everybody who does not adhere to the principles of the “Path of Life” will be punished. By punishment, Buddhists mean disease, poor health condition, death, and family problems. Additionally, Buddhists highly believe that there is life after death (the process of Reincarnation), since soul has various cycles of life. In this case, humans should think and care about their souls more than about their appearance or physical health. The Buddhism religion accentuates that Western medicine does not absolutely treat the patients, since it cures only physical part of a person. Buddhism provides the patients with symptomatic relief and spiritual guidance that ensures long-lasting health. However, Buddhism does not underestimate the vitality of physical body, since it helps to organize human mind. In this case, the doctrines of this religion lay the stress on the importance of health of body, thus humans should not drink, smoke, or eat fast food that considerably deteriorate health. Consequently, full recovery can be obtained with the help of mind and body harmony. Generally, Buddhists have no problems with taking any medicine that reduces their suffering. However, health care provider should pay attention to the issue relating to transplantation of organs. Most Buddhists think that helping other is predominant mission of people. On the contrary, there is a minority of people who reflect that health care provider should wait 72 hours after death of the patient and then transplant his/ her organs. This situation can be amplified by the fact that during 72 hours after human, body and mind tightly correlates (Casey, 1997). Thus, health care provider has no choice, since soul of the person should not be disturbed. The main difference amidst Christianity and Buddhism is seen in the concept of rebirth that Buddhists believe in. On the contrary, Christians reflect that humans should protect their lives, since they will be responsible for the earth life after death. Thus healing is very important in order to help and to treat people. Buddhists think that death does not exist, thus death is identified with the life. In this case, the role of medical treatment is lessened.
All in all, different religions demand different medical approaches. On that ground, health care provider should gather knowledge about various cultures in order to provide professional diagnosis and medical treatment. Moreover, understanding of patient’s faith will not only accelerate recovery, but also improve relationships amidst medical works and patients. In this case, health care provider should estimate the vitality of psychological and physical treatment.
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