|← The Oxford History of Islam||Archaelogy and Religions of Canaan →|
Awareness of the relationship between modern healthcare systems and the religious worldviews of the beneficiaries eliminates the mismatch between the approaches of the systems and the preferences of the clients. The provision of healthcare within the Buddhist perspective is consistent with the religion’s philosophy that is based on the fear of suffering (Smith & Novak, 2004). On this score, medical intervention is to be perceived as one way of eliminating or minimizing suffering in the life of the patient.
Buddha impressed on his followers to exercise diligence in pursuing the right courses (Smith & Novak, 2004). It is important to conceptualize fear in terms of the various influences that affect the health of both body and soul. Fear of death means the provision of medical remedies that would lead to a long and healthier lifestyle. The place of medical care in the philosophy and practice of Buddhism is based on the need to develop sound structures that would guarantee healthy livelihoods for the believers. In the Buddhism worldview, medical care is a higher calling in the service of humanity. Its provision must be in line with the higher purpose that it is meant to serve.
The state of health within the understanding of Buddhism involves the active search for harmony between the body and the soul (Smith & Novak, 2004). In line with the tenets of the religion, the health of a human being works through a uniform continuum that course through the body, soul, and spirit. The promotion of the health of one aspect of the human being inevitably leads to the promotion of the other characteristics of the mind, body, and spirit. It is imperative to consider that the parts of the teachings that are anchored in Buddhism about the health of a human being are also consistent with aspects of Christianity. Both religions are united on the fact that human existence necessarily links the body, soul, and spirit.
Buddhism anchors most of its teachings on the aspect of meditation. Within the provision of healthcare, meditation could be understood in terms of the process of psychological therapies that eventually promote the wholesomeness of health. Followers of Buddhism are restrained from taking actions that are inimical to their own health or the health of other people that are close to them. Actions that promote suffering are equally restrained within the understanding of the religion. For instance, the followers are discouraged from indulging in intoxicants, which according to the tenets of the faith have the capacity to impair the status of health of an individual and thereby exposing him or her to internal and external forces that promote suffering.
The medical dimensions of Buddhism could be compared to the Voodoo religion as practiced in Haiti (Walsh, 2006). Voodoo is based on the belief of the existence of one singular and powerful God who controls both humanity and the universe. This God, according to the teaching of the religion, manifests through different names in different parts of the world. The religion of Voodoo emphasizes that people must align their characters with the values that are espoused by the Supreme Being (Walsh, 2006). On this score, Voodoo advocates for a kind of existence that impresses upon human beings to carry out their activities in a manner that is in line with the common good.
Good living habits, according to this religion, are descended from the sacred laws of the Supreme Being. Communal values on health are considered as part of the good living standards that should be embraced by humankind. The provision of healthcare services within such a religious system must take care of the fact that the religion is modeled on the values of good and healthy living. The intervention of medical services, just like in Buddhism must be understood within the framework of providing quality healthcare and living standards for the believers. Another striking resemblance between Voodoo and Buddhism is the fact that both religions emphasize on the conformity of man’s practices to environmental and natural conditions.
Nature, according to this religion manifests the real state of things as the deity designed them. Any action that is contrary to the natural laws of the land is deemed out of tangent with the will of the Supreme Being. The manifestation of the religious inclination of to nature is most evident among religions that emphasize on their members to adopt strict healthcare practices within the natural laws. Voodoo and Buddhism are string proponents on the merits of herbal therapy in healthcare provision. The task of healthcare workers would be to engage the traditional aspects of healthcare with the objective of mainstreaming the useful aspects of it within the conventional healthcare systems.
The task of accommodating the diverse aspects of religion must begin from the point of view of religion in such a way that individuals adopt practices that are generally inclined towards the promotion of healthcare within a specific religious milieu. Healthcare providers should be willing to accommodate some of the odd superstitions that might follow the concept of health within the Voodoo religious framework (Koenig, 2008). Although healthcare actions cannot be appropriated wholly to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of any particular religion, the practice could be regulated in a manner that illustrates some kind of recognition of the basic tenets of the religion.
Aspects that are strangely out of form with conventional and universal healthcare practices must be considered as strange and alien and be eliminated from the considerations on which the healthcare needs are based. Studies have shown that the strict forms of Voodoo may tend to object to conventional medical practices by directing their followers to rely strictly on spiritual and natural therapies. This would seem as a marked departure from the idea of God and medicine as embraced in the Sikh religion. The Sikh conceptualized the idea of God as an omnipresent being who willed love, goodness, and prosperity for humanity (Nesbitt, 2005).
These qualities have been appropriated to imply that the Sikh God provided insight to some people to have the power to mediate in the health needs of humanity. In the course of history, the Sikh religions have conceptualized healthcare as a gift from God. In this line of thought, the Sikhs have learnt to embrace healthcare as an aspect of being that represents God’s active interest in the well-being of his creation. Health practitioners would have to acclimatize to the different religious worldviews in order to gain insight into the perceptions of patients on the matter of healing and healthcare. Christian values on healthcare administration are forged out of the various discourses that emphasize on God’s love for humanity (Walters & Byl, 2007).
These approaches demonstrate that it is possible for people to moderate their systems of healthcare provision by determining the degree to which they are influenced by religious backgrounds. Quality provision of healthcare demands that the needs of the patients must be understood in the totality of their cultural, religious, and social identities.
Studies on the efficacy of healthcare administration have offered that a deep awareness and appreciation of the cultural and religious mindsets of the patients is an important first step towards offering quality healthcare services. The religious perceptions of the patients should be integrated into the conventional approaches of healthcare administration. This will facilitate the achievement of the best possible cooperation and response of the patient.