Healthcare and Religion


There were minimal disputes on the existence of the creator in the nineteenth century. Many people believed in the existence of a sovereign being. Very few arguments existed on whether or not it was important for society to be believe in sovereignty of the Almighty. As the twentieth century came in, many people embraced secularization which has become quite prevalent in the Western countries. This brought in many arguments as to whether God existed or not.

Relationship between Various Religions and Health Care

According to research, when people have a religiosity that is popular that is characterized with prayer and worship, and then this has high impacts on their physical health. Studies show that highly religious people show improved physical health. This is normally attainable when people follow strictly the moral dictates that are stipulated by religion. (Bainbridge, 2005)

This is for instance attainable when people believe that they were created by God for a purpose. Research shows that religious believes and practices have a strong indication on dysfunction and entire health in the society.

This is according to research that was carried out in the year 2006. Sources of data show in the year 2005 Religion polls that were carried out by International Social Survey Program (ISSP) involved approximately thirty nations. . In this survey approximately twenty seven people were interviewed by researchers concerning this issue. (Bruce, 2005) This study included countries like Holland, Germany and Netherlands. This study examined ardency in religiosity, attendance of religious services, their frequency of prayer and their degree of conservatism. The results of research carried out in Swiss are a bit outrageous when closely compared to their actual prayer levels.

The various rates of people’s worship and believe in the sovereign creator correlate with the general heath of individuals interviewed in the studies. Many of the developed nations feature dysfunctional health care system. For instance popular denial of evolution and strong religiosity has strong impacts on heath in the society. Many of the nations that are highly secularized show increased dysfunction. There are instances when increased rates of religion are an outlier to dysfunction in the society. According to research nations that are quite religious enjoy increased societal health compared to secular democracies. (Bruce, 2005)

As highlighted earlier different religions have different believes in relation to health care. Buddhists believe that the body is just but a shell of the spirit. They believe that the body has to be treated with much respect. The Buddhists believe that people who follow their faithful regimen of meditation and are spiritually focused cannot become sick.

In case they become sick then eighty percent of the sickness can be cured using ones mind and the remaining percentage are treated using herbs. They believe that when their body is exposed to harsh conditions then the immune system is greatly strengthened. Other Buddhists say that it is only lazy people in faith who get sick. (Gould, 2006) They believe that the Intensive Care Unit for instance doesn’t have a good environment for the contemplation of the spirit. They claim that it is just too noisy and therefore doesn’t play a big role to the healing of the patient.

Many Buddhists believe in reincarnation. This is whereby they can easily re exist as an animal. For this reason they do not take meat but they are strict vegetarians. They claim that animal products play a big role in eroding the mind’s clarity. One of the functions that are clearly seen in this religion in relation to health care is as follows. They strongly believe that western medication is not good for treatment when they are sick (Bowker John, 2005).

This is because they believe that it weakens the human body a great deal. So in return they simply avoid such types of medication. For instance Buddhists believe that blood donation is an act of selflessness. In fact they constantly donate blood free of charge. Buddhists have no problem with donating an organ so song as it is not bought. They also do not agree with donating an organ through coercion.  They believe that their religious leader has to confirm the departure of the person’s spirit before the organ is transplanted or donated. (Gould, 2006)

There are some Buddhists who condone birth control while others do not. They believe in serious contemplation between death and reincarnation and for this reason, say that the mind doesn’t need to be filled with drugs at such a time. They believe n lessening or stopping medication when a person is nearly dieing. When a person dies they want the body to be undisturbed for hours.

A mention of these two terms health care and religion always comes along with controversies. Many religions greatly oppose or are against some of the health care attention due to their faith. For instance Catholics are not comfortable with abortion practices. In fact most of the Christian faith people are against abortions because they believe that this is killing and the bible does not allow murder. (Hughes, and Kroehler, 2006)

Some religions like Catholics are very vocal and against the use of contraceptives. They strongly demonstrate against the use of condoms as a family planning method. They believe that God is in charge of all the children that will be born and therefore using contraceptives and other family planning methods is a way of controlling or limiting God. Other religions like Jehovah witness are very much against blood transfusions. Many health practitioners find it hard to give health care to people of diverse religions.

According to studies carried out in United States, many medical practitioners encounter problems as they administer health care to patients. This is because some of the patients claim that their religion does not allow them to do so. Approximately three out of five patients seen by a medical practitioner normally have such issues. Medical and nursing practitioners normally find it hard in deciding what action to undertake in such cases. (Hughes, and Kroehler, 2006) This means that health care professionals have to deal with this issue with sensitivity and in a way that meets the patient’s needs. Various religions have got diverse believes about pain and relief and this greatly affects their expectations on the way they should be handled when unwell.

According to Jewish religion, there are various exceptions to people of ill health. For instance when the Jewish people are unwell they are exempted from practices like fasting until when they are fully recovered. (Misyko, 2005) Korean Shamanism on the other hand believes that sickness emanates from spirits and therefore will carry out religious rituals such that a person is gets well. There are some religions that are totally against folk medicine and when one of their own gets unwell then such health care measures cannot be administered no matter the situation.

On the contrary there are some religions that totally believe in herbal and folk medicines that they cannot visit a hospital. This means that when a person gets sick they will always look out for herbalists who administer the treatment. All this shows that religions are quite different and the way that they perceive treatment is also very different. Still concerning religion and health care, some religious sects have cropped up in this twenty first century. (Misyko, 2005)

These religious sects do not believe in any health care administration on a sick person. When a person is unwell they simply pray until they get better. This is according to their faith.  Muslims believe that physicians have the healing power. This is according to the teachings of the Koran that each disease has its healing power. Muslims believe that physicians and other professionals in the health care sector have the challenge of searching for the cures of various diseases. The Islamic religion emphasizes on hygiene. This includes simple practices like hand washing, breast feeding, brushing teeth and exercising.

Islamic religion views physicians as healing agents sent by God. The Islamic religion views health care as a holistic venture. Muslims also use herbal medicines, naturopathy, chiropathy and homeopathy. This practice is called Hakim. Some of the Muslims concur that physicians have to do anything in their disposal in order to save life of patient. (Veatch, 2007) There are some who simply don’t believe in prolonging life. This includes artificial help done to prolong life. In Islamic culture, when a child becomes a doctor or a health practitioner, this is seen as very noble. In the health care sector, the Muslim religion advocates for patients to be given one third water, one third food and one third air as their dietary moderation.

They just believe that health care assistant are helping God but they cannot and should not replace God. They believe that every disease has its cure. For them blood transfusions can be given or received. Organ transplants are acceptable whether from human beings or animals.

Muslims do not believe in sale of organs in the case of organ transplants. According to research carried out in the United States in the year 2006, there are some Muslims who are always offended when they are given an organ transplant from a dead body. Muslim religion embraces the use of contraceptives. This though differs depending on where the Muslims are found. Muslims view Euthanasia as murder. They greatly believe in the sanctity of life but also accept the will of God and the entire reality of death. (Veatch, 2007)

Hindus believe that illness result from ones own deeds, words and thoughts. Illness therefore can be cured through purification practices. Hindus do not condone abortion unless if the child is deformed or in the case of rape. They accept and also carry out family planning. In case a Hindu woman needs health care, she has to consult her husband first before making any decisions. (Bainbridge, 2005)

Review of Books on Issues of Religion and Healthcare

Bowker John, the author of “The Sacred Neuron- the Extraordinary New Discoveries Linking Science and Religion” proposes that it is erroneous to observe faith and rationale as conflicting concepts. He further asserts that the latest findings in the field of neurosciences depict astonishing evidence regarding the mechanism of the individual brain and how some notions are developed into way of life. This book when critically examined clearly depicts belief and faith to be interrelated with reason and indeed both faith and belief is actually deeply rooted to such rationality. The book further asserts the importance of science particularly on how individuals view their supreme beings; it further points out the linkages that exist among diverse backgrounds and religious convictions. John Bowker also points out on how human beings conducts are greatly affected by the way we reason. However, according to this book if consistency and belief are seen as complementary then definitely new comprehension of the individual brain may actually act as a source for arriving at resolutions to certain disagreements that comes up as a result of diverse views on beliefs and cultures. Such discovery according to the author of the book brings controversies to the modern world and particularly to the health care management (Bowker John, 2005).

Misyko, author of the book “Sociology in the Mainstream” asserts that in most of the developed democracies, there is increased secularization as shown in the recent large scale research and many individuals in these nations are shunning religiosity. They are turning out to be atheists. The author attempts to investigate the relationship between religion and health care all over the world. In fact he cites various surveys carried out in the United States regarding to believe in supernatural being. Evolutionary science is not common in this many countries and. data from this book shows that there are great relations between religion societal dysfunctions and health care. There are differing rates in religiosity as seen from many cross national comparisons. Some nations have got people who are very religious while in other nations people don’t bother about religion. This book further attempt to establish the rates of religiosity and worship are fundamental in contribution to health issues in the modern day world. The author further argues that various data correlations link low societal dysfunction to secularism in various democracies. Thus the book reveals correlation of degrees of religiosity to health care and function and dysfunction in the society (Misyko, 2005).

Bainbridge, in his book, “Religion and Science” asserts that religious people believe that healthy, moral, ethical and cohesive society emanate from the people therein being religious and acknowledging the sovereignty of the creator. It outlines that anyone who is contrary to the creation theory but embraces evolution is subject to having immoral behaviour and won’t enjoy good health. However, the author is quick to point out that there hasn’t been clear verification concerning these allegations. The author points out mainstream researchers who concur with him that this issue has got radically differing worldviews. He further contends that this hypothesis is largely centered on anecdotal accounts, is limited to one population and is just based on assumption (Bainbridge, 2005).


Mainstream research carried out all over the world show great correlation between religion, secularism and health care. Sources show that there is great relationship between highly religious people and their achievement of a superior societal health. Nations show existence of disparities among the people’s religious practices and believes.  There are some that believe in the evolution theory while others believe in the creation theory. Diverse religions exist all over the world and these have got different correlations to health care. All these have correlations to dysfunction in the societies. Various research organizations reveal that societal dysfunction and health are related to people believes in non theistic or theistic phenomena.


Bainbridge, W. “Religion and Science; A Comparative view” Boston; Houghton Mifflin, 2005, Pp 25-40

Bowker John, W. “The Sacred Neuron- The Extraordinary New Discoveries Linking Science and Religion” Palgrave, Macmillan, 2005, Pp 12-56

Bruce, S. “Christianity in United States: Sociology of Religion” Vol 61, 2005, Pp 190-201

Gould, S. “Rocks of Ages; Health care and Religion in the Fullness of Life.” New York: Ballantine; 2006,

Pp 102-116

Hughes, M. and Kroehler J. (2006): “Sociology, the Core” New York: Prentice Hall, 2006, Pp 29-33

Misyko, R. “Sociology in the Mainstream” New York, Melbourne Press, 2005, Pp 108-113

Veatch, M. (2007): “A Theory of Medical Ethics” New York, Melbourne Press; 2007, Pp 118-143


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