Spirituality in Healthcare



Charles Brooks




Healthcare Providers and Faith Diversity

The world is full of faiths and religions that have been usedto both explain the history of and govern human life. The religionshave a both unique and interestingly similar take on how to approachlife and what can be expected through concerted acts of service.These varying religions not only have an explanation for generalliving, when examined further it can be applied to specific facets oflife, particularly matters of health and healing. Christianity andBuddhism both have explicit interpretations of effective living andthose interpretations are intimately connected to human worldview andsubsequent matters of health.



Christianity is a worldwide religion that is based on andfollows the teaching and walk of Jesus Christ. Jesus is believed tobe the Son of God, and through a dual nature, also believed to be Godin human form. Believers follow his path because they believe thateven when tempted with the sins and evils of the physical world, hewas able to walk upright without fault or blemish. Moreover, upon theend of his life, to reconcile man with God, he allowed himself to dieto ensure that man would not perish from the rage and anger of theLord. His sacrifice was deemed the ultimate offering and thusguaranteed those who truly believed a life beyond this physical.Despite the followings and lessons of the Bible that were alreadyestablished, Jesus was a proponent of love, fellowship, brotherlycommunion, patience, and a myriad of other virtues (van Dyk &amp vanDyk, 2014). He believed that helping each other was the utmostimportance and a key element of human purpose on earth. This verypremise gives credence to the nature of health care providers and thenursing industry.

Worldview Questions and Healthcare Implications

Christianity has a unique response to the worldviewquestions. When posed with the question of prime reality,Christianity offers that God is ultimate prime reality. Christiansare in lifelong service to God and working intently, both consciouslyand unconsciously, to act according to his will and fulfill themerits of his law. The second worldview of the nature of the worldaround us can be seen as a natural extension of God’s design. TheBible states in Genesis, that “God created the heavens and theearth.” The nature around are manifestations of the tenets andelements of God’s master plan (Michaelson, Pickett, Robinson, &ampCameron, 2015). Human beings are creations of God and are made in hisimage. Each has a set of qualities that makes them unique andpositive contributor to the world. Moreover, in connection tohealthcare and healing, the intrinsic significance of each being iswhat makes the need for nursing and the value of saving a life thatmuch more important. From a Christian perspective, the question ofwhat happens to a person at death is important for many. The worksthat an individual completes while living will be a directrepresentation of what will be utilized during the assessment asdeath (Rush &amp Aboul-Enein, 2016). It is believed that the law ofreciprocity will come into play when God is weighing the merits ofeveryone’s life. Additionally, many patients are concerned with howa healthcare provider chooses to treat them because they believe thatit has bearing on the type of afterlife that they might experience(van Dyk &amp van Dyk, 2014).

The next worldview question is how is it possible to know anything atall? This is explained in Christianity through the notion that Godpasses knowledge to us all. Sometimes it is divined, while othertimes it is passed through studies and experimentation. Furthermore,while many believe that science the antithesis of the merits ofChristianity, others posit that science is also God given and thushas given birth to the ability to make the medical advances employedby hospitals every day (Rush &amp Aboul-Enein, 2016). The merits ofwhat is right and wrong are given to us through the readings of theBible and the innate feelings that arise when confronted with varioussituations. These teachings on ethics and understanding of moralityare reinterpreted into various medical codes like the HippocraticOath and bioethics, which serve as the underpinnings of the medicalworld. Lastly, human history deals with the meaning and purpose ofGod. It is connected to plan of God and connected to the fulfillmentof law. On an earthly level, human history serves as the precedenceneeded to make pertinent medical advances and ensure that humans arecapable of living prosperous lives.



Buddhism is an ancient religion that originated in Asia by BuddhaShakyamuni&nbspintime before the advent of Jesus Christ in the Christian faith (Wiist,Sullivan, George, &amp Wayment, 2012).Buddhism centers heavily around the concepts of enlightenment, peace,love, and wisdom. The teachings of Buddha draw intently on removingnegative states of mind and creating positive atmospheres free ofharsh traits like jealousy and anger. Furthermore, unlike themonotheistic nature of Christianity, there is no singular deityexalted. InsteadBuddhism follows the path and wisdom of Buddha to attain a life ofself-enlightenment and understanding one’s own mind and psychethrough the use of activities like meditation.

Worldview Questions and Healthcare Implications

The worldview questions, from a Buddhist perspective, havesimilarities and difference from the Christian faith. WithinBuddhism, the question of prime reality is answered through theconcept of reciprocity or known more aptly as karma. There is areaction for every action. This translates to things living and dead.One must live a life of positivity, so that positive actions are fedback into the earth (Phoenix, 2014). When answering what is thenature of this world, the holy book, Tipitaka, explains howeverything is a continuum and everything is innately connected.Meditation allows for the communing of the spirit with nature (Rocco,Dempsey, &amp Hartman, 2012). This allows for a steady peace of mindand connection to positive and healthy living. The aforementionedalso answers the question of what it means to be a human being andthe meaning and value of death. The religion believes that the mindis neither physical or a result of physical processes (Phoenix,2014). It is rather a continuum communed with nature that exists evenafter the passing and disintegration of the human body. This relatesto health because it can be seen in many patients decisions not toreceive heavy medications because they realize that the body is atemporary state that will fade long before the mind ever will. Deathmerely releases the mind to a much larger and overarching plan(Wiist, Sullivan, George, &amp Wayment, 2012).Buddhism responds to the worldview question of how it is possible toknow anything at all by utilizing the concept of meditation.Meditation allows for the mind to be stripped of negative elements.After the negative elements are purified, a human is able toeffectively entreat various answers about the modalities of life(Rocco, Dempsey, &amp Hartman, 2012). Matters of right and wrong arespelled out in the Tipitaka and seen in the merits of the walk ofBuddha. His steps are believed to be in sync with perfectenlightenment and this show how to walk in ethical and moral paths.Moreover, it is intently connected to the medical world becauseconcepts like the healing hospital are connected to the importance ofrest, tranquility and solitude, which are all important tomeditation. Lastly, human history is connected to the continuum oflife. All human exists to live, garner enlightenment, and eventuallypass the conscious state of mind back to its origin, purified andinformed.

Common Religious Health Perceptions

Although comprised of varying tenets and elements, religions alsohave various universal tenets that connect them to each. The use of aholy text and following the teachings of a spiritual leader are but afew examples of elements that have strong-shared meaning. There arealso a series of components related to healing and health that areshared amongst the religions. While the details of each may vary, thepremise and sentiments behind them are the same. One of the criticalcommon components to all religions in regards to health would be theuse of prayer. Prayer is an expression, request or a way entreat adeity or higher power. The expression can be in the form of gratitudeor thanksgiving or can be a specific request for a move of action.During the act, the individual has a belief and faith that the higherpower will bestow blessings and make intercessions for them and/orloved ones. In relation to health, throughout the multitudes ofreligions, prayer is utilized ask the higher power of the religionfor health and prosperity. They act under the premise that withrightful living and steadfast prayer, their prayers will be answeredand healing will be granted.

Another critical common component to all religions in regards tohealth is belief and self-affirmation. Many religions rely on thepremise of believing and speaking things into existence. In theChristian faith, such can be seen in Proverbs 18:21, “Deathand life&nbspare&nbspinthe power of the tongue”,which means that an individual has the power to speak the course oftheir own destiny. In the Islamic faith, the Quran states “Andthe right of the tongue is that you consider it too noble forobscenity, accustom it to good, direct it to politeness”, whichexplains the importance and power of the tongue in its use. With sucha premise present, in regards to the health, belief andself-affirmation is important to the healing process. If a personbelieves that they will be healed and they speak positively about itsinevitability, the faith in those words help to bring it past. Asubstantial part of healing is connected to the repairing of theactual body, i.e. limbs, cells, skin, etc. Additionally, anothersubstantial portion of healing is attributed to the mind and mentalwholeness. By believing and speaking healing into existence, anindividual mentally and emotionally sets up the parameters for apositive and full recovery.

One last critical common component to all religions in regards tohealth is the guidance on healthy eating. The religions of the worldall provide perspective on food restrictions as a way to ensure ahealthy body and thus create an atmosphere of healing. Seventh-dayAdventist followers believe that healthy diets satisfy and honor God.Many then believe that such would be honored when praying for variousmatters, i.e. health. Conversely, Buddhists believe that eatingnatural foods communes one more with the earth and opens the body upto faster healing processes. Although different in approach, eachreligion has a rationale for why healthy eating can cleanse, purify,and heal.

Patient Beliefs

History has shown that religion is an important aspect in individuallife. While their faith is important, there is no overwhelming outcrythat the physicians hold the same belief as them. Patients prefer,however, to have their physicians hold some sort of religious valuesor the ability to discuss such matters in conjunction with medicalcare. According to King and Bushwick (1994), nearly 77 percent ofpatients would prefer their doctors to have a form of religiousunderstanding, so that discussion of such could be included in theirmedical care. Patients are not concerned about the specific faith asmuch as they are concerned about the physician being capable ofholding such a discussion and creating an environment that ensuresthat a patient feels comfortable. Furthermore, such a desire forphysician connection to matters of faith can be seen in thedevelopment and inclusion of faith-based curriculum in medicalschools. According to a JAMA survey, in 1994, 17 out of 126accredited U.S. medical schools included spirituality in theircourses (Fortin &amp Barnett, 2004). It then increased to 39 in 1998and 84 by 2004. As such, patients have found it important to be ableto relate to their religious concerns because such understandingcould be help in informing or developing treatment plans,intervention, or medical procedures.


Personally, spirituality is intimately connected to healing.While a body may heal physically, mental and emotional healing isjust as important. It can be likened to the concept of the healinghospital, which centers heavily around creating an experience thatwill provide holistic healing and considers all pertinent aspectsthat will contribute health. When an individual has faith and thebelief of spiritual elements coming to their aid, they are muchbetter situated for healing and wholeness. Moreover, as studies show,health care providers can help facilitate healing by just showinginterest and consideration for ones beliefs. By understanding thevalues of a patient’s religion and how it ties into their standardsof living, medical providers can help decrease stress and anxiety,which will contribute to a faster recovery. Whether the actual meritsand claims of religion are true, its sentiments, the ability tocreate a sense of community, and the respect/consideration it drawsfrom others works intently to spur healing.


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The Bible.

The Tipitaka.


The paper seems to follow instructions save for a few mistakes incontent, paper structure, and grammar. The student seems to haveunderstood the requirements of the paper. However, he fails tocompare the two religions in accordance to the worldview and how theyconnect to the healthcare sector. The student fails to utilize topicsentences effectively and the paragraphs are disorganized. Someparagraphs were a page long and a reader cannot expressly point outthe main idea that the paragraph is presenting. In general, thecontent of the paper was satisfactory and the student deserves a goodgrade plus a few pointers in APA formatting.