Imago dei is the view of Christians as the human is made in the image of God (Shelly & Miller, 1999). This is important to healthcare as we should treat our patients as they are a gift from God and everyone has a purpose in life. The complexity of a human body is a miracle in its self when a human being is created with cells and the multiplication of all those cells to create different organs, blood, and a body to house everything. As we treat our patients medically and spiritually, we do it for the love and devotion we must aid in healing those that are sick or make a person comfortable at the end of life. Every person has a place on this earth with a duty to perform, but it is up to that individual to create a compassionate or hateful life. “The fundamental goal of health care and medicine is healing and caring that results in physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being” (Clark, 2018). This holds truth as to how healthcare and religion play a factor in caring for God’s people. As nurses we are not to judge a person and the choices they have made and any events leading up to the reason for the hospital admission. We are there to promote a better future and offer a hand to aid them in the right direction. Nurses are never to cause harm and to view each individual as a miracle that has been created, will give a more nurturing care for each individual patient.
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The concept of imago dei is the Christian understanding that we, and all human beings, are created in the likeness and image of God himself. Since we are created in the His image, every person no matter their mental, physical, social, or any other marker of status, has been bequeathed a certain dignity and honor (Allen-Shelley & Miller, 2006).
This concept is the foundation of how Western society views and approaches human rights. It is present in our legal, health care, and social service systems. Thus, it is important in health care because it forms the basis for how we approach others. It is also important because it tells us that every human being is deserving of our care, no matter what their diagnosis may be, whether they have the ability to pay, or for any other reason (Allen-Shelley & Miller, 2006).
It is relevant because, in health care we frequently experience situations in which medical care seems futile, like the example in Allen-Shelley & Miller (2006) of the infant born with a poor prognosis of life. We also frequently come across people who do not have the means to pay for their health care and/or do not have adequate health insurance. Per imago dei, these people are still deserving of care despite their inability to pay or their social status.