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Healthcare and Religious Beliefs Essay

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In healthcare organizations, medical staff must conform to their hospital and their country’s code of conduct. Not only do they have to meet set standards, they must also take their patient into consideration. When making a decision upon a patient, medical staff must recognize religious backgrounds and spiritual beliefs. By understanding a patients’ beliefs and their belief system, a medical worker can give the patient their deserved medical assistance without overstepping boundaries or coming off as offensive. The practices and beliefs of four religions will be articulated throughout this essay to fully understand how religion can either help or hinder the healing process.



Certain religious groups reject westernized medicine, like the Amish. Yet, for the most part most religions allow their medicinal practices to work in tandem with westernized medicine. For example, First Nations people tend to have a very holistic view when it comes to their surroundings and medicine. Aboriginal traditional approaches to health and wellness include the use of sacred herbs like sage or tobacco and traditional healers/medicine (pg. 5, Singh, 2009). However, they will not reject help from professionally trained doctors and medical staff. Much like other religions, First Nations put a strong emphasis on family/community. Consensus or decision-making is fairly common for them. A practitioner or medical staff member must remember to respect ceremonial objects such as tobacco or traditional blankets, include immediate family members when making a treatment decision, and to accommodate spiritual practices. Normally, organ donation is accepted UNLESS the organ is being removed from someone who is not deceased. First Nations’ believe that their bo...


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...healing process of the patient. Healthcare professionals should frequently ask questions in order to fully understand if certain needs are to be met because of religious practices or beliefs. For example, a fresh bed sheet can be offered to a Muslim in order for a clean space for their daily prayers (pg. 21, Singh, 2009). Certain medical decisions can be difficult to finalize since religion must be taken into consideration. Healthcare providers will come into contact with people of different faiths, nationalities and cultures. All patients should be treated with the same amount of respect and acceptance in order for their medical needs to be fairly met.


Works Cited

Singh, D. H. (2009). Healthcare and Religious Beliefs. Alberta Health Services, N/A, 50. Retrieved January 22, 2014, from http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/ps-1026227-health-care-religious-beliefs.pdf


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