ethics of holy water and Islam - page 3

by Carlos Casteneda

4,272 Views | 26 Comments

We are nursing a Muslim lady with a diagnosis of permanent vegetative state, Today a Nurse interupted her sister pouring a substance into a jug of water used to provide flushes down her peg. The nurse asked her to stop a debate... Read More


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    Quote from Roy Fokker

    If I was speaking to you of 'Holy Water', would you assume I was speaking about the River Ganges?
    Heh,heh. Yes, the Ganges is supposed to have healing properties also. An infusion of that in the peg would definitely have some effect...
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    I don't see how this is in anyway an ethical issue, unless the issue you are refering to is the nurses insensitivity.
    It's obviously hog wash that holy water is going to do anything to benifit the patient. However my opinion on the matter as the patients nurse are irrelevent. Assuming it was actually potable water and not some other substance. My rule is that if it's something that will not harm the patient (like for example she wanted to pour the water into the mouth of my intubated patient, happed to me once), or disturbing to other patients, then whatever mumbo jumbo the family wants is fine and I will advocate for them to be able to do it. I do draw the line at somethings though. Once had a native American family who wanted to preform a cermonoy over thier dead father. They described it to me and I OK'ed it. However when I saw smoke coming from the room and went in to discover a sizable fire going in a clay pot. I put an end to the cermonoy (and fire) right now. Their description did not include lighting a campfire in my ICU room.
  3. 0
    Quote from hrtprncss
    Get an order .
    *** An order? Seriously? Geeze it's like some nurses are afraid to use the restroom without an physicians order. There is no reason at all to involve a physician in this. You already (presumably) have an order or a policy or protocal to flush the tube with water. What kind of water (assuming we are talking about potable water from a clean source) is nothing to get an physician involved with. WHat happens if you get a bigott physician who refuses to give the order? Easier to get forgivness than permission.
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    What does it matter whether the patient is Muslim, Hindu or Christian and aunt Bertha wants to bring in water from the creek down yonder? It matters what clinical setting you're in and what you can administer appropriately and safely. My question is does the clinical setting allow for staff to use Rx and nutrition provided by the family or not?
  5. 0
    Soooo ... we flush g-tubes with water ... do we know the composition, contamination status and provenance of the water that comes from hospital taps?
  6. 1
    Quote from heron
    Soooo ... we flush g-tubes with water ... do we know the composition, contamination status and provenance of the water that comes from hospital taps?
    Yes, or at least your facility safety officer should. Outbreaks of Legionnaires' are embarrassing when originating in a hospital, so most facilities have annual(at least) testing protocols, and (generally) guidelines for spot-checking when the system is repaired/damaged/etc.. Sprinkling with blessed water is one thing, infusion is getting kinda iffy, on the social-tolerance scale.

    Some cultures pack a woman up with cow dung, as immediate post-partum care. Beliefs are not "valid", simply because we hold them. Some beliefs are benign, some are dangerous (no matter how long we've played with ceremony/substance X, use does not make the substance or process safe or efficacious).

    In general, people throughout the world are living longer through improved medical care, infection control, vaccination, education and so forth. If a ceremony or process can pass standards of care/infection control, then by all means. If not, take gramma home, pump her full of creek water, and stick her in a sweat lode at 120*(actually, sweatlodges are good for some things, but that's another story), and let us know how it works out- just don't expect to be sent home with a running infusion of antibiotics while this is being done.

    If "sensitive" is synonymous with regressive and ignorant, I'm happily, joyfully, insensitive.
    badmamajama likes this.
  7. 0
    I don't disagree ... I just wonder at a federal case being made out of water that's considered "holy" requiring all this analysis and orders and coverage of butts, when the water we use everyday isn't. Just seems like overkill.

    And in 40 years in the industry, the only time I've seen water being tested has been when there's actually been an outbreak of waterborne illness in the hospital. There may be "protocols" but I suspect they're honored mainly in the breach,

    The OP did not describe a cow-dung pack or a parenteral infusion ... it was water going into a g-tube.


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