ethics of holy water and Islam

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    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 ensued, the sister said she had been told that if the holy water was given for a week the patient would get better, it was obvious that she beleived this in her heart. what would you do
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    As long as the water isn't contaminated, I don't have a problem with it. Not that I think it will help, but at least this way the family can feel as though they've done everything they could.
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    Get an order and a witness....The patient is in a vegetative state. You don't have to believe if it works or not. It's someone's culture and should be respected. The only thing is that there should be an order from the MD and there should be another nurse present to document. People come in and bring food from home and give it to their family members. The only difference is the NURSE will be the one administering it because the patient is unable to take it herself.
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    What if she was pouring acid into the tube? How would you know? I agree that an order is necessary to cover the staff, and the sister should be watched so she can give this water herself but must tell the nurse first.
    badmamajama likes this.
  7. 1
    Quote from Julian Dodd
    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 ensued, the sister said she had been told that if the holy water was given for a week the patient would get better, it was obvious that she beleived this in her heart. what would you do
    Considering that holy water is used in the Roman Catholic Rite and not Islamic, I would question the sincerity and base of the sister's belief system. It is possible a neighbor or friend gave her this advice but a true believer would never mix the rites of two diverse religious belief systems.

    Grannynurse
    badmamajama likes this.
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    Hello...actually saying "holy" doesn't just refer to christianity. I think water is revered as being holy in various religion and cultures.

    http://www.thewaterpage.com/religion.htm
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    I also want it clear that I am all for families bringing in their cultural beliefs and rituals as long as they are inteegrated appropriately and safely. I just dont want someone sneaking around doing things to a person in a PVS without more discussion with the whole family
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    thank you for all the replies,
    I initially thought along the same lines ie if its clean it should be ok, but needs multi disciplinary discussion . I looked at the bottle of water which had bits of paper floating around in it the sister said that it was ok because these were prayers that people had written and they would definately make her siser better. Her sister now says that we missed a vital time period and it is our fault if her sister does not recover
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    It is important to respect a family's religious beliefs. The water could be tested to make sure it is not acid or any other harmful substance. (as one poster mentioned) I think it is the Catholics (I could be wrong which religion for sure) that wears a special card on a string around their neck, it is believed that the person must be wearing it before they die in order to get into heaven. I heard of a situation (told to me by a nursing instructor) that a patient came in coding wearing one of these. The doctor riped it off because it was "in his way". When the nurse explained its importance and purpose, the doctor respond by saying "Hog wash!" and proceeded to work on the patient. The patient ended up not making it, without her card on. Whether it is true or not, the family firmly believed that their mother was not able to go to heaven because of what this doctor did. Imagine being one of those family members and having to live with that. Very upsetting.
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    Quote from hrtprncss
    Hello...actually saying "holy" doesn't just refer to christianity. I think water is revered as being holy in various religion and cultures.

    http://www.thewaterpage.com/religion.htm
    Roger that, I stood by Moses's well in St Catherines monastary at the foot of MT Sinai and watched Jews, Muslims, and Christians lined up 30 people deep to take home "holy" water, all three religions have the Old Testament in common.

    BTW, Muslims refer to the Koran as the "Holy Koran" if it is written in the original arabic, as it is believed to be the literal word of God. If translated to another language it is just the "Koran" since it is not considered to be God's actual words.


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