Buddhist and Christianity Views on Healing
Buddhist neither believes on the external concept of God in bringing suffering nor helping in the recovery process. The nature of Buddha is confusingly illustrated as the supernatural being who communicates with the servants at all time. In case of sufferings, say diseases Buddha is normally consulted through sacrifices and rituals for interventions. According to Hitchcock, Schubert, & Thomas (2003), “The rituals and sacrifices are performed by ordained persons who role act the representatives of the Buddha.” If the extreme case, whole issue assumed to be under the concept of “Universal suffering.”Therefore, death from diseases is universal since every human being is mortal.
According to Buddhist belief, good health, one can only be healthy or sick concerning their previous acts. Buddhism believes that good health is not just because of doctors and other medicinal professionals. Lord Buddha advocated that monks should not eat at night in order to remain healthy Lord Buddha recommended some type of food that an ill monk would eat to work as medicine for them to heal . These medicinal foods included honey, ghee from a buffalo, mustard seed oil and fresh fat.
Therefore, it is advisable for healthcare providers to be aware of some Buddhist practices such as the patient might request for a moments of silence to meditate. Some may be concerned about treatment by opposite sex physician. Some also believe that treatment using some medicines made from animal products is wrong and therefore it would raise issues in the Buddhist. Some Buddhist is against injections that numb patients and prefer being conscious of the situation of pain. Buddhist believe that as one near death, they should not be left and therefore medication attention should be minimized to assist the person meditate as they die. There is also a belief that the dead do not separate immediately with the spirit and thus they should be handled with care.
Christians believe in healing through faith and the power of prayers and miracles. However, some religions mislead their congregation on the power of faith and even restrict sick individuals from attending for medication. Going as per the bible quotes where Jesus performed Miracles and healed people most Christians believes that god has the power to heal eve without the medication, but this does not prevent Christians from seeking for medical treatment when ill. The Catholics also have some practices that health provider need to observe; the patient should take the sacrament of blessing just before a surgery to act as the last rite in case of death. Christians takes a different perspective on the sickness. The human faith on God has the potential of bringing healing. The bible, in Old and New Testament develops theories of individuals who were healed by the apostles and the Jesus Christ through the prayers and faith. With the development of the health sciences, Christians agrees with the ideas of seeking medical aids from the health professionals. It is because, the epistles of Philippians indicate, “Every good knowledge comes from God.., let the teachers teach, blacksmith forge the metal, pastors be good shepherds, and doctors show loyalty.” Therefore, seeking attention with the health providers is a prudent idea (Weber & Kelley, 2009).
The medical providers must indicate the consciousness of a given medical procedure before executing to patients. Regardless of the religion, any medical practice that is assumed to create significant benefit to the patients is crucial. However, some procedures raise ethical questions. Christians find it odd to accept abortion of the fetus (In Kaakinen et al, 2015). It is because, Holy Bible condemns abortion, indicating that God is the source of life, and no one should correct or alter whatever God has created. In other religions such as Buddhist, the ritual masters’ advocates abortion if it end results proves more beneficial to the victim than waiting for the time of delivery. In fact, Buddhist believes that existence is by the matters of chance, as the flowers emerge from the plant (Levin, 2001).
A research conducted in America involving 30 respondents indicated that chaplaincy contributes to 92% in the patient’s recovery from the illness when admitted in the hospital or affording Medicare from home. In the Buddhist traditions, ritual plays 76% of the patient’s capacity to recovery from a fatal disease. This is an indication that religious believes can supplement the medical activities in bringing comfort and good health to the patients.
Although culture itself is not predictive of faith and its implications for healing and wholeness, culture does provide a broad context within which to understand religious faith and spiritual beliefs. An awareness of the world view and values within cultural groups and across religious beliefs is useful as healthcare professional seek to facilitate healing and wholeness in the lives of their patients.
Building the Argument
The altitude of religion to medicine, like the attitude of religion to science, is always necessarily problematic and hostile. In some religions, such as Christianity, faith is compatible with the science and medicine. However, health sciences have the tendencies of breaking the religion monopoly, inclining the religious groups to resist them fiercely. Focusing on the Christian faith, most of the miracles in the New Testament had to do with healing. Such tales act as supportive grounds on God’s power to heal. In fact, some Christians oppose the scientific knowledge of the health providers in assisting the patients to recover from the illnesses. They do not find any difference between the seeking medical aids and going after the healing rituals. However, with consistency in prayers, acts as the weapon to overcome the demonic spirits leading to diseases.
Unlike other non-Christian religions, Buddhist assumes a staunch and complex stand on the matters of health. Surprisingly, parents professing to believe the nonsensical claims of the Buddhist science are reportedly convicted after denying the medical aids on their children, particularly in emergencies. Parents who imagine that being a Buddhists refuse permission for their children and family members to receive the blood transfusion after involvement in profuse bleeding tragedies (Young & Koopsen, 2011).
The Episcopalian theology puts its faith in the will of God that cannot be full comprehended by humans. It describes healing in a broad way, relating to all the elements of the human experience, with its goals being a return to “wholeness.” This wholeness is closely defined and looks to relates basically to a rebuilding of relationships between the Creator and human being (Plante, 2001). Biomedicine can be criticized for looking too closely at the part of the body that is ill or broken without relating it to the whole life of the individual.
Healing ministries, for instance, attempts to take this larger view and consider the illness within the context of the individual’s religion and the life story. At the same time, the emerging recognition of the significance of palliative end-of-life care, especially in the hospice movement, has opened the door to notion of health care and healing that go beyond the emphasis on measurable physical outcomes that has characterized much of the modern medicine and research. This emerging trend offers as much potential and hope for alleviation of suffering related to chronic illness as does research in genomics, phenocokinetics and immunology. Health care researchers have proved that spiritual practices like prayers or meditation for efficacy in pain management, helps to reduce recovery time from surgery, and control of chronic conditions for some time and with positive results.
Since people with health problems find it difficult to cope with the situation, spirituality, and the medical knowledge should be incorporated into persons’ care plan. Through this approach, patients will experience and explore their spirituality with the broad meaning the help them to living a worthily. Moreover, the medical staffs need to bear in mind that spirituality is not dependent on the client’s feelings in a particular period, but it is something ingrained in them. Therefore, the medical aid provided should not compromise their Christianity believes or pit them in denouncing what they believe.
Further, the nurses and doctors should be open and receptive to the spiritual experience that patient may have without imposing their religious views. The need to focus on these issues is because spirituality had a definite link to health and well-being in both preventive and restorative capacities. In developing ways to assist patients with different medical issues, it is important to define their spirituality to understand their internal state.
While the cultural beliefs and religious differences can act as an obstacle to this with health needs, faith communities can and should be powerful sources of friendships and support in hard times. Many types of research show that membership of a supportive and inclusive religious community benefits a person’s physical and mental health. In the field of mental healthcare, spirituality extends far beyond the ambit of faith traditions. Available in equal measure to those with intellectual disabilities and their personal and professional careers, its inclusion in the care process can only enhance, dignity and enrich the life of persons with the health issues.
Hitchcock, J. E., Schubert, P. E., & Thomas, S. A. (2003). Community health nursing: Caring in action. Australia: Thomson/Delmar Learning.
In Kaakinen, J. R., In Coehlo, D. P., In Steele, R., In Tabacco, A., & In Hanson, S. M. H. (2015). Family health care nursing: Theory, practice, and research.
Levin, J. S. (2001). God, faith, and health: Exploring the spirituality-healing connection. New York: Wiley.
Plante, T. G. (2001). Faith and health: Psychological perspectives. New York [u.a.: Guilford Press.
Weber, J., & Kelley, J. (2009). Health assessment in nursing. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Young, C., & Koopsen, C. (2011). Spirituality, health, and healing: An integrative approach. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.