It is quite obvious how different religions hold different philosophical views on various aspects and even when it comes to healing. Each religion highly upholds their spiritual values hence the need for health practitioners to be cautious while handling varied clientele whether they hold the same religious sentiments or not. In this research we will major on the views held by the Sikh, Buddhist and Judaist religions in comparison to the Christian belief on healing.
The Sikh hold the belief that when one is sick it is the will of God and that He is merciful to heal; however one has to consider medical treatment in order to get well. During illness: Sikh patients engage in prayers to seek God for help, seek to obtain peace by remembering Gods name, recite sacred hymns (Gurbani) which are words from the holy scriptures (Guru Granth Sahib) and are normally voiced through the Gurus.
Generally the Sikh religion highly esteems the life of human and its sanctity. Depending on ones practice, Sikh religion allows blood transfusion, does not encourage assisted suicide nor euthanasia, permits autopsy, does not permit autopsy, does not permit circumcision on male infants, accepts the aid of genetic engineering to cure diseases, discourages artificial life support for a terminally ill patient who has been in a vegetative state for an along time, discourages abortion unless medically advised and organ transplants.
As a principle the health care provider should help preserve the faith of the patient by considering the following aspects when caring for a Sikh patient:
1. The patient should be able to enjoy peace and quiet and should not be interrupted even for routine check-ups.
2. One should responsively consider the symbols of faith (the five K's); uncut hair, underwear, ceremonial sword, steel bracelet and wooden comb. Infants should especially wear the symbols and incase shaving has to be done; one has to consult the family members.
3. It is a cultural practice for the Sikhs to visit patients therefore, one should understand when they need to practice their faith.
4. Sikh religion forbids eating of any meat that was intended for ritual purposes and that has been slaughtered the halal way; however the choice to be either a vegetarian or not is dependant on the individual (Sikh patient's Protocol for Health Care Providers, 2001).
Unlike the bio-medical understanding of health, Buddhists believe in a set of principles that shape up the health system of a community. The meaning of health is quite important as it brings out the impact of Buddhist principles on health activities and perception. Health is divided into two related areas; disease of the mind or disease of the body. Mental disease is a critical issue in Buddhism.
Buddhists believe that diseases are as a result of defilement which comes about as a result of ignorance, craving, clinging, greed delusion and hatred. Ailments as well as death are considered common events in human life. Moreover, demons, ghosts and karma (intention of actions) are a source of diseases as well. Monks were previously allowed by Buddha to eat raw flesh and drink raw blood in case ones ailments were inflicted by ghosts. Modern and alternative medicines are considered to be just supportive elements in the healing process.
According to Buddha the noble eightfold path is the preventative measure for all ailments. One is encouraged to properly take care of his body by consuming the right things in order to gain physical health. Like other religions Buddhists support the idea of seeking medical care in order to improve physical health.
Health practitioners should consider the following aspects when dealing with a Buddhist:
1. Meditation is quite important to the Buddhist hence peace and quiet should be maintained as much as possible around the patient.
2. Some are strictly vegetarians hence medication from animal products may become problematic; analgesics may be refused as they are said to affect awareness of the mind.
3. Monks diets required that certain foods including ghee, oil, fresh butter, molasses, and honey (Wichit P. & Luechai S., 2002).
4. Their tools for healing include the mantra, prayer wheels, prayer flags, chanting recordings and meditation practices (Dharma Haven, 2005).…