Posted: January 4th, 2023
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The concept of imago Dei derives from the biblical book of Genesis that states that God created human beings to possess characteristics like those of God (White, 2018). That is, human beings were created to care for each other, animals, and everything on Earth, in the same way that God would; after all, we are all His creation. Humans have inherited the characteristics of God to do good and to help others (White, 2018). The intuition to do good and to use rationality to prosper is established in God’s most advanced creation, human beings.
The relevancy of this concept is especially important in healthcare because it establishes the image of God in every human being. Health care professionals have a duty to treat their patients, and each other with respect and dignity (White, 2018). Nurses, and health care professionals must see beyond the physical body and understand that every patient has a soul and a spirit of God. Healthcare professionals use evidence-based practice to give optimal care and preserve the life of the patient, as it is a gift from God. When caring for patients who may be atheist, or believe in a different religion, one must respect the patients autonomy but continue to provide beneficial treatment to the patient (Orr, 2013). Our goal as health care professionals is to treat every human life equally.
Orr, R. D. (2013). Reclaiming the hope of Faith: Medical Ethics and the transformation of culture. In Pursuit of Truth | A Journal of Christian Scholarship. https://www.cslewis.org/journal/reclaiming-the-hop…
White, N. H. (2020). God, Humanity and Human Dignity. Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/2
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According to White, the Christian concept of the image of God or imago Dei pertains to “the Christian doctrine explaining that all human beings, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, or any other qualifier, were created in God’s image and therefore possess inherent worth” (2020). The image of God can be relevant to healthcare because it can inspire healthcare workers to show empathy, respect, and protect the dignity of every patient (Stahl & Kilner, 2017). This concept also plays as a factor pertaining to a range of major healthcare issues such as abortion, in vitro fertilization, death, and euthanasia (White, 2020). A problem that could arise with the belief of everyone being created under the image of God is the misunderstandings that have led to frequently neutralizing its liberating power and even fostering oppression (Stahl & Kilner, 2017). It is then important to be able to identify and be aware of such misunderstandings especially when taking care of different individuals.
Stahl, D., & Kilner, J. (2017). The Image of God, Bioethics, and Persons With Profound Intellectual Disabilities. The Journal of the Christian Institute on Disability. https://halo.gcu.edu/resource/90e95284-44d6-48cf-b545-2fac8f7bfb93?nestedResourceId=1883c03b-eb6a-4277-934c-020ae372983d
White, N., (2020). God, Humanity, and Human Dignity. Grand Canyon University (Ed.), Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. https://lc.gcumedia.com/phi413v/practicing-dignity-an-introduction-to-christian-values-and-decision-making-in-health-care/v1.1/#/chapter/2
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