Consider the role of the health sciences professional beyond the laboratory for a moment and think about how illnesses such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) can ravage people of specific races or cultures. CVD is caused by many factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices, and nutritional routines. Research suggests that education goes a long way in its control and prevention (Tettey et al., 2016). Consumers who are suffering from CVD or are on the verge of it are often warned about its harmful effects when they visit a physician’s office. CVD patients are also given brochures that educate them about how to make adjustments for incorporating healthy habits and taking prescribed medications to mediate the effects of CVD. Faith can be used in a powerful way to go beyond the limits of science and medicine to better enhance patients’ outcomes.
Depending on your worldview, the idea of faith integration within the field of health sciences can be quite challenging. We know that faith-based institutions are often the first to step forward when public safety is at stake. Although this may be the case, health professionals need to be aware of the beliefs and worldviews of those in need of health interventions, especially when they differ from their own.
- Imagine that you are working in a setting (i.e., hospital lab) where you come in contact with a patient, for whom you have analyzed blood or other human specimen samples. In this scenario, you must communicate negative information about test results to this patient and have no idea of their faith or worldview. You also don’t want to impose your own faith as you deliver the bad news.
- From an ethical and faith-based perspective, how would you break this very somber, life-changing message to your patient?