baptizing a patient??? - page 2

There is a companion thread in this forum about religion and nursing that made me think of this... have any of you ever heard of anyone baptizing a patient or know anyone that has??? I once worked... Read More

  1. by   sbic56
    Quote from fergus51
    This is how I would behave with others. I was raised to believe that there are no requirements or rituals needed for salvation and I would expect that to be respected by my healthcare providers. If you know the parents want it done, then by all means do it. Otherwise, you are treading on touchy grounds.
    That's right. I'm right there with you. Sure, I'd do it if a family wanted me to and the priest wasn't available, as I'd respect their beliefs. I sure took exception to the thought that just because someone has no religious affiliation, then that makes them fair game. Eek, not so!
  2. by   fergus51
    Quote from sbic56
    I sure took exception to the thought that just because someone has no religious affiliation, then that makes them fair game. Eek, not so!
    Amen to that:wink2: . Some people don't have a religious affiliation because they have made a conscious decision not to. Personally, I have very different beliefs from the catholic church and if I have a child I would be upset that a nurse would take it upon themselves to baptize him/her into a faith I do not believe in. It isn't the nurse's place to make that decision. Working in the NICU, we try to give the parents as much control over their baby as possible. It's about respecting their role as the parents, not about religion in general. Nurses have to be aware that we are the baby's nurse for their hospital stay, but the parents are their parents forever.
  3. by   babynurselsa
    Just to clarify the point for the OP. This is something that isdone at the request of a catholic family. This is not about "Stealing someones's soul or inflicting religion on a family or patient without their consent.
    This is a part of the Catholic belief system that it is necessary before death of a previously unbaptized infant. If the individual nurse is not comfortable with this because of her own belief system then hopefully someone else would step forward to perform this small act to save a family the additional grief of believing that their infant will not be allowed into heaven from omisson of the sacrement of baptism.
  4. by   sbic56
    Quote from babynurselsa
    Just to clarify the point for the OP. This is something that isdone at the request of a catholic family. This is not about "Stealing someones's soul or inflicting religion on a family or patient without their consent.
    This is a part of the Catholic belief system that it is necessary before death of a previously unbaptized infant. If the individual nurse is not comfortable with this because of her own belief system then hopefully someone else would step forward to perform this small act to save a family the additional grief of believing that their infant will not be allowed into heaven from omisson of the sacrement of baptism.
    and I can't say that I would not do it if I had an infant or child in grave condition and knew that the parents were either not involved with the child or had no religious affiliation.

    This is the piece I was responding to. It was an either/or thing that struck me. It was like if you were of another religious affiliation than christian, than baptism would be OK. That's not so and I needed to clarify that part. Certainly, if a christian family found comfort in the ritual, it should be done.
  5. by   SFCardiacRN
    Interesting thread on a touchy subject. I'm glad the family found relief in your action. Sometimes you have to follow your heart as long as no harm is done to the patient.
  6. by   kellyo
    [quote=labcat01]I am a catholic and even so I don't think I would ever be comfortable baptizing a baby. I don't think that my creator would deny a baby entrance into heaven just because he wasn't baptized.

    I had a nun in the 4th grade teach us how to baptize a baby in case we ever needed to (because their souls would "dwell in Purgatory"--nice thing to tell a kid--this was the same woman who crushed me when she told us there's no such thing as Dog Heaven). Anway, I feel the same--God's not keeping any baby out of heaven.

    :angel2:
  7. by   flashpoint
    I would do it if the parents asked me to, although I really don't feel that there is any point to it.

    I would be furious if someone "baptized" one of my loved ones without my permission...I don't believe in infant baptism at all, so it would actually be quite offensive to me.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    [QUOTE=babynurselsa]Just to clarify the point for the OP. This is something that isdone at the request of a catholic family. This is not about "Stealing someones's soul or inflicting religion on a family or patient without their consent.
    /QUOTE]

    As the OP's post stated, there was an indication of possibly doing this procedure when the the "parents are not involved" or there is no faith indicated.

    There are many Christian groups that do not "baptize" babies, as they feel that the baptism is not needed for pediatric salvation and that Baptism is a serious sacrament to be undertaken by adults of their own volition and knowledge and with them acknowledging its' great signicance.

    And if the parents are there (presumably to indicate the need for the lay Baptism) then would it not make sense for them to do it? In place of a staffer that is not Christian, and to whom, speaking those words can be a denial of their own Faith. Not to mention, virtually all of us could (in this country) most likely find a coworker that can intone the proper Blessing.
  9. by   prmenrs
    I have baptized many babies, @ the request of the family. I have also facilitated a formal baptism in the unit w/the Catholic chaplain on call. I am a practicing Catholic, and, in this very Hispanic community, it is something that puts parents, grandparents, etc, minds @ ease.

    I consider it "meeting the family's Spiritual Needs", and, if I got report on a really sick baby, I would ask about it.

    Mormon babies can get a special blessing, too, w/the Elders of their local temple participating. I've seen that done.

    Don't forget, this is about the family's belief, not about the nurse's.
  10. by   caroladybelle
    There is also a certain irony here.

    The Catholic Church clearly states that nonCatholics (even if Christian) are not to take Eucharist within the Catholic church...that it is reserved for acknowledged Catholics in good grace.

    Yet, noncatholics (even if not Christian) are expected/competent to perform "lay" Baptism.
  11. by   Thunderwolf
    Here is an excellent site that allows one to see and compare practices of folks of different faiths.

    http://www.biblehistory.com/BeliefsPage.html
  12. by   palesarah
    Quote from Thunderwolf
    Here is an excellent site that allows one to see and compare practices of folks of different faiths.

    http://www.biblehistory.com/BeliefsPage.html
    That's interesting info, thanks for the link.
  13. by   Jolie
    Quote from caroladybelle
    There is also a certain irony here.

    The Catholic Church clearly states that nonCatholics (even if Christian) are not to take Eucharist within the Catholic church...that it is reserved for acknowledged Catholics in good grace.

    Yet, noncatholics (even if not Christian) are expected/competent to perform "lay" Baptism.

    This is not entirely true. There are special circumstances in which it is acceptable and permissible for a non-Catholic to participate in Eucharist.

    That said, I understand your point that it seems inconsistent that non-Catholics are allowed to baptize. They are not, however, EXPECTED to do so in the eyes of the Catholic church. If a nurse is being pressured by her institution to perform a baptism against her will, I understand her objection, and would encourage her to refuse in favor of another willing person. But it is incorrect to believe that the Catholic Church in any way imposes this "responsibility" on unwilling participants.

    Just FYI, non-Catholics are also allowed to stand as witnesses to a Baptism, in lieu of Catholic Godparents. My daughter's "Godfather" is her uncle, a devout Baptist.

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