Imago Dei & Healthcare
Imago Dei & Healthcare
What is the Christian concept of the imago dei?
The “image of God,” is also referred to as imago dei. Christians believe that all human beings were created in the image of God and as such, everyone is wonderfully and beautifully made (Shelly & Miller, 2006). Thus, regardless of one’s social status in the society, everyone has some sense of bestowed dignity or honor. Therefore, imago dei is a theological, which is rooted in the Bible and is applicable to the humankind only. Furthermore, it has its origin to the creation by God in the Garden of Eden. While it does not literally mean that our image reflects God’s image, imago dei represents the intellectual, spiritual, and moral nature (pbs.org, n.d.).
How might it be important to healthcare, and why is it relevant?
According to Shelly & Miller (2006), Mother Teresa cared for the dying and those who were sick in Calcutta, as she believed that all human beings were created in the image of God. This has motivated many Christians over the years to care for the sick, poor, and those who are disenfranchised. The knowledge that all human beings are created in the same image drives all healthcare practitioners to have the passion of caring for all those who seek treatments due to the various ailments. In addition, the caregivers such as nurses, physicians, social workers, psychologists, and other health workers view the patients or clients as not just persons in distress but as the likeness of God’s eternal lives (Sevensky, 1983). This awareness helps to transform the relationship between the health care workers and the patients’ sanctity. Thus, imago dei is relevant as it facilitates the understanding of the underlying rules and human rights to be observed in the provision of care to patients (Shelly & Miller, 2006).
Imago Dei (Image of God). (n.d.). Retrieved April 04, 2018, 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 April 04, 2018, 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 April 4, 2018, from https://viewer.gcu.edu/UGPTQ4