Another mini 2 post series this week from my Theological Bioethics class. I took this course as part of my undergrad in exercise science to meet the religion general education requirement at the christian private school I attended to play baseball. This is just another perspective on healthcare and the roles of health professionals so I thought I would share!
The core role of health professionals is to preserve life, promote human dignity from life until death, and show compassion. Doctors and nurses are the custodians of healing, and should give it selflessly, educating their patients along the way. Patients tend to feel vulnerable in relation to their care givers, thus health professionals are to show empathy for their patients (Panicola 10). It is a privilege to serve those in need, thus it is their duty to become a moral influence while adhering to the virtuous principles of respecting each patient's privacy and wishes (Panicola 57). Virtues for a professional must be universal since they are the character traits that promote common good (Panicola 3, 54).
All people are created equal,+ thus should be treated that way in the health care system, and in creating patient/physician relationships. This justice gives people what they deserve based on their human dignity, utilizing the community to give to those who have less. (Cahill 1 - 2). Finally, health professionals should be able to distribute goods and healing services to all, equally, as efficient as possible but to have the greatest effect, in order to show distributive justice (Cahill 44).
When you apply religion to health care and the roles of health professionals you see that their power is to share what they have been given by God. Jesus was the original doctor for Christians, using his powers to heal those in need. In today's world the jobs in medicine are the continuing as God has given doctors the power and knowledge to heal. God has given access to goods from the earth and use them to heal thus healing is a spiritual experience not just physical.
"4God makes the earth yield healing herbs which the prudent should not neglect;
5Was not the water sweetened by a twig, so that all might learn his power?" (Book of Sirach)
Medicine isn't removable from faith as we are not God to patients, but God gives the patients to the professionals. (Book of Sirach) Finally, we must respect the limits of other religions and beliefs, however we also have the right to not violate our own. All in all, we need to look towards solidarity, because as humans we are one family where everyone is made in the image of God (Cahill 36).