The Christian concept of Imago Dei
The Christian concept of imago dei is described by Shelly & Miller (2006) as man being created in the image of God, granting dignity and honor to everyone while separating mankind from everything else on earth.
This is important to healthcare because human lives depend on healthcare. By focusing the attention on preserving life and granting each person dignity, we value each human’s life over and above everything else on earth, as God intended. While postmodernism would hold a humans life less valuable since that philosophy believes the humans are simply another organism on earth, with the same value as a rock (Shelly &, 2006).
This belief is relevant because if we are all viewed as imago dei, then there are moral consequences if we choose to treat humans as
equal to all other animals in creation. As Shelly & Miller (2006) asserts, men may eat other animals in the world, but according to the Christian concept of imago dei, we were placed here as separate and superior beings and it is not appropriate to eat another human being, shoot a person for an illness or disability, and while we are free
to choose, it is our responsibility to treat the sick and dying with dignity and respect with hope for a positive outcome.
The Christian concept of imago Dei as explained by our text is that all humans are created in the image and likeness of god; because of this, human life is deemed valuable and special among all other life forms (Shelly & Miller, 2006). This is an important and basic concept that bares relevance to many aspects within humanity. In the context of healthcare, this is an especially crucial and fundamental understanding. Healthcare providers, caregivers, and all disciplines of the occupation should practice with this core understanding always in mind which transcends across religions and personal beliefs/opinions. Human life is a gift, and as such, each life is significant and meaningful, deserving of respect, empathy, kindness and dignity. A person’s worth and dignity is not determined by their health status, bodily functions or medical prognosis. Healthcare workers should always uphold this truth and honor a person’s right to this understanding. This should be a standard of all care, regardless of if the person’s medical decisions are not in opposition to the healthcare worker’s personal opinion or choice (Sevensky, n.d.).