Comment # 1
The Christian concept of Imago Dei or The Image if God is best summarized by the following: Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said “Let us make man our image, after our likeliness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of a God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Religious Facts, 2017.)
This is relevant in health care because we need to see others in the same light as God sees us. It is not always easy to care for the patients that are difficult, mean, unappreciative, cruel, etc. I did not become a nurse to pick and choose who I want to provide care to; I became a nurse to help people and assist them in healing, and to care for them to the best of my ability.
What is the Christian concept of the imago dei?
Imago dei or ‘the image of God’ is “the Christian understanding of human beings as created in the image of God bestows dignity and honor on every person, regardless of social, mental or physical status” (Shelly & Miller, 2006). Imago dei (image of God) is a theological term that applies only to humans and has its roots in the biblical book of Genesis. Imago dei doesn’t mean that we reflect God’s image in the literal sense, but in His moral, spiritual, and intellectual nature (pbs.org, n.d.).
How might it be important to healthcare, and why is it relevant?
“It was the imago dei that drove Mother Teresa to care for the sick and dying in Calcutta, as it has motivated Christians throughout the centuries to care for the poor, the sick and the disenfranchised” (Shelly & Miller, 2006). Knowing that another human being is created in the image of God is one aspect that drives health care workers to want to care for a sick human being and give the dying a peaceful and comforting death. In an article titled The Religious Foundations of Health Care, the author states, “it remains true that for the care giver (physician, nurse, social worker, psychologist or whatever) the other (the patient, the client) no longer remains simply a fellow human being in distress but also a likeness of the eternal God” (Sevensky, 1983). Sevensky goes on to state that this awareness transforms the relationship between health care worker and patient into recognition of the sanctity of the other (Sevensky, 1983). The term imago dei is relevant because “it forms the basis of Western society’s understanding of human rights and undergirds our legal system as well as our health care and social service agencies” (Shelly & Miller, 2006).
Imago Dei (Image of God). (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2017, from http://www.pbs.org/faithandreason/theogloss/imago-body.html
Sevensky, R. L. (1983). The Religious Foundations of Health Care: A Conceptual Approach. Journal of Medical Ethics, 165-169. Retrieved January 12, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1059326/pdf/jmedeth00010-0037.pdf.
Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2006). Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing (Second ed.). Retrieved January 12, 2017, from https://viewer.gcu.edu/UGPTQ4