Health Care Provider and Faith Diversity Abstract

HealthCare Provider and Faith Diversity


Thispaper will discuss two different faiths that a health care providermay interact with in a care institution. In detail, the criticalcomponents of healing like prayer and meditation the spiritualperspective shall be discussed. The paper will give a comparativeanalysis of two faith philosophies towards providing health care. Thetwo religions that will be reviewed in this article are Buddhism andChristianity. This paper will outline important aspects of people ofdifferent belief systems being offered care by a health care providerwho has a different belief system. It will give insights on how apatient may view a care provider who puts aside his or her beliefsfor the interest of the practices and beliefs of the individualseeking care.

HealthCare Provider and Faith Diversity

Differentreligions believed health to be an important value that promotedhealing. It is a belief that has been held onto through generationsand into the new world. There is a variation in health care based onan individual’s faith. Faith can be viewed as hope or belief withregards to its definition as confidence or trust in religion, adoctrine or a person. It is through faith that people can lead aholistic life. This paper will expound more on the spiritualperspective of individuals from different religious faiths namelyBuddhism and Christianity and also the healing practice of eachfaith. The two common most experiences to human life, health anddisease are a particular concern of religion. Since time immemorial,religion has upheld the value of health and well-being as necessaryfor a meaningful life. Religion provides people with a means toenhance their health providing them with an avenue to creatively dealwith human vulnerability to suffering, disease, and pain.

SpiritualPerspective of Healing by Buddhism

TheBuddhist faith centers its beliefs on the understanding of Buddha’ssuperior role in teaching on the functionality of the mind andcontemplation for righteousness and truthfulness can be incorporatedin developing faith. Buddhism is rooted in a rational intellectualcomprehension, which is reinforced by the intellect. Buddhistsbelieve that the mind is the creator of sickness and health, that thecausative agent of disease is internal, and that people should takecare of their bodies in a particular way. The Buddhist faith believesthat human beings exist regarding integrated factors, which aregoverned by the natural law (Cobb, Puchalski, &amp Rumbold, 2012).The two characteristics according to the doctrine that dictates howone perceives life and the path, which maintains the body, are theKamma and the noble eightfold.

Fora Buddhist, being concerned about a person’s health reciprocates tobeing concerned with the whole person such as his or her moral,physical, and mental dimensions. Therefore, this religion does notcondone the tendency to understand health only about individual partsof a human being an example being congenital disabilities. In theholistic perspective of the Buddhism faith, a disease is regarded asan expression of an imbalanced harmony in life. Besides, the faithacknowledges that disease draws an individual’s attention to thedisturbed balance.

Followersof Buddhism are for the view that healing is not just about treatmentof the measurable symptoms. They believe it is the combined effortsof the mind and body to overcome disease than a duel between medicineand illness. In addition, they believe that the purpose of healing isto enable an ailing individual to return to a harmonious statuswithin oneself and in how they relate to others and the naturalenvironment. From this perspective, it is evident that healing is notan end in itself, but rather a means through which medicine aids toserve the value of human health and well-being.

Meditationand Health in Buddhism

Buddhismallocates time for meditation and prayer for devotees so as torealize their vision of health. The tradition of meditation cutsacross many religions and has been practiced for both for both healthbenefits and religious purposes. In Buddhism, meditation is meant toobtain mental health and spiritual health, which is thought to havean overall effect on physical health (Fraser, 2013). Meditation inthe Buddhist faith is threefold named after the effects they produce.

Thereis insight meditation, loving kindness meditation, and calmreflection. Compassion, Sympathetic joy, and loving kindness arebelieved to be antidotes for anger, jealousy, and hatred whereasequanimity is a counteractive measure for suffering caused byattachment.

Prayerand Healing in Buddhism

Chantingis the form of prayer in Buddhism, and its intention is to invoke theTriple Gems the Buddha, the teachings, and the order so as toreceive blessings and protection. The chants are verses written bysenior learned monks inspired by Buddha’s livelihood and teachings.Among the chants, parritta is often recited for its healing effectssince it is believed to keep sickness at bay and to promote healing.

Thetruth of the teachings and Buddha’s boundless compassion areincorporated in chants where they are thought to promote healing. Thereligion believes that even if one does not understand the words inthe songs, the individual can visualize the image of Buddha andlisten to the vibration of the sound thereby soothing and calming themind. Besides, this simple act is thought to have far-reachingeffects on the immune system enhancing the entire body function.

ChristianSpiritual Perspective and Components of Healing

TheChristian practices have been associated with healing for millennia.Christians pray to God for good health and relief from disease. TheChristian faith views health, healing, and wholesomeness fromdifferent perspectives rooted in the interpretation of the bible’sold and new testaments (Louw &amp Elsdörfer, 2012). In the OldTestament, health is viewed as the state of well-being, completeness,and wholeness that result from having a good relationship with God.The Bible in the Christian faith often speaks of miraculous healingthrough belief in Jesus Christ and faith in God.

Abiblical teaching as seen in the book of Exodus shows that God is theoverall healer. This is portrayed when God through Moses tell theIsraelites that if they obey His commandments, He will not bring themany of the diseases like those he Brought to the Egyptians.Throughout the Bible, the writings advise people to lead a righteouslife, and in return, God will take away sickness and suffering fromamong the people.

CommonComponents in Christianity and Buddhism Regarding Healthcare


Bothreligions believe in the healing power of meditation that has beenshown to result in biological and psychological changes that arereflected in good health. The clinical significance of meditation canbe experienced in reduced heart rate, alteration in the levels ofmelatonin and serotonin, an improved immune system, reduced stressand enhanced self-esteem. Christians meditate in times of pain as away of asking God to provide the strength necessary to persevere.


Differentdegrees of faith support prayers that in health care may bereciprocated with benefits associated with placebo response.Clinically, improved wellness has been witnessed with placebo invarying disorders like Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, andcardiac failure. Concerning the context of prayer and healing, theplacebo response is enhanced by behaviors and personality traitsespecially response expectancy, motivational concordance, andoptimism. Moreover, developments that result from regression to themean and spontaneous remission have been associated with prayer.Regression to the mean points out the improvements that occur due torandom fluctuations in the severity of illness.

Healthcare professionals who are not Buddhists should offer careholistically and with sensitivity to Buddhist patients. Health careproviders should not make any assumptions about any aspect of thesepatients’ lives. To propagate cultural competency while offeringcare to a Buddhist, the medical professional should always ask eitherthe patient, family or an elder of the relevant Buddhist communityfor any clarifications (Purnell, 2014). When a Christian patient isreceiving care from a non-Christian professional, the same rule ofthumb should apply.

Healthcare professionals should respect the patient’s spirituality andalways seek clarifications on matters they are unfamiliar. Caregiversshould be cautious because whether they are religious or not, theirbeliefs can affect the patient-physician relationship. Addressingissues concerning spirituality and religion in health care alwaysmakes a difference in how patients of different faiths experienceillness and health outcomes. Physicians despite their differentfaiths should remain patient centered. To avert conflict of interest,physicians should always involve chaplains of or trained personnellike counselors for guidance[ CITATION Fol12 l 1033 ].Beforeany form of treatment care providers are mandated with theresponsibility of seeking a patient`s religious concerns beforecommencing treatment to conserve the seeker`s religious respect andintegrity.

Religiousand cultural values must be considered in the health care processes.Differences in religion and faith beliefs have become more pronouncedin health care facilities nowadays. It is imperative that careproviders show acceptance of a diversity of faith expressions. Forthis to happen, it is imperative that health care professionals gainmore information about different religions, as well as how-to dealwith such individuals in a hospital setting.


Toconclude, as a Christian, it is my belief that spirituality leads tohealthy living. By abiding in God’s teachings, we can work towardsremaining healthy. The Christian perspective of healing is reflectedby staying connected to God. It would be detrimental to separatereligious aspects from spiritual needs to some patients since theirspiritual needs are religious in nature. It is evident throughresearch that in a multi-faith society, spirituality has differentmeanings to different people. In addition, religion has both positiveand adverse effects on health. The negative effects can range fromdelays in seeking medical care to religious factors being identifiedas parts of psychosis. It is crucial for multicultural competenciesto be a standard of care in health care. Health care is somethingthat everyone has the right to and by having, a greater understandingof the variety of backgrounds people come from can only help tofurther understand the patient, their spiritual and religiouspractices, their concerns and medical needs.


Cobb, M., Puchalski, C. M., &amp Rumbold, B. (2012). Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare. London: OUP Oxford.

Foley, E. (2012). Religion, Diversity and Conflict. Sanfrancisco: Edward Foley.

Fraser, A. (2013). The Healing Power of Meditation: Leading Experts on Buddhism, Psychology, and Medicine Explore the Health Benefit s of Contemplative Practice. Chicago: Shambhala Publications.

Louw, D., &amp Elsdörfer, U. (2012). Encounter in Pastoral Care and Spiritual Healing: Towards an Integrative and Intercultural Approach. Sanfrancisco: LIT Verlag Münster.

Purnell, L. D. (2014). Guide to Culturally Competent Health Care. Newyork: F.A. Davis.