Science vs. Relgion In the Health World

  1. What is everyone's thoughts on the topic typed in the subject? I am doing a paper on it. And its gotten into a pretty big discussion. But I am curious to think what all other nursing students think
    -Could one exist with out the other?
    -Can they go hand in hand?

    Just some thoughts. And if you actually think about it. Its pretty crazy what science..along with religion has done to the current health world.
    Thanks for any input!
    ~Beth
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    About henry-106

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 59
    STNA/CNA

    17 Comments

  3. by   HappyNurse2005
    Can science exist in the health care world without religion? Depends on the person you ask. An atheist would say of course.
    But in reality, no it can't. Don't quote me on numbers, but I'm fairly certain the majority of the United States population believes in God/actively practices religion/etc. This would include nurses, doctors, patients, etc. Therefore, in one person's individual mind science could exist without religion, but in the scope of health care delivery, it really can't, b/c health care does not involve just one person's own mind-it involves so many people that you cannot deliver health care without running into religion somewhere, somehow. I had a patient yesterday talk about church, and asked me to pray for her. I was in another patients room when their pastor came in to pray with them. Therefore, lets pretend I am atheist (i'm not, for the record) and for me, science exists completely without religion. But when my patients have religion/religious needs, then religion does exist with the science, whether I as an atheist nurse think it does or not.
    Make sense?
  4. by   live4today
    Quote from rninmay2005
    can science exist in the health care world without religion? depends on the person you ask. an atheist would say of course.
    but in reality, no it can't. don't quote me on numbers, but i'm fairly certain the majority of the united states population believes in god/actively practices religion/etc. this would include nurses, doctors, patients, etc. therefore, in one person's individual mind science could exist without religion, but in the scope of health care delivery, it really can't, b/c health care does not involve just one person's own mind-it involves so many people that you cannot deliver health care without running into religion somewhere, somehow. i had a patient yesterday talk about church, and asked me to pray for her. i was in another patients room when their pastor came in to pray with them. therefore, lets pretend i am atheist (i'm not, for the record) and for me, science exists completely without religion. but when my patients have religion/religious needs, then religion does exist with the science, whether i as an atheist nurse think it does or not.
    make sense?
    hmmm...i like the way you broke this down.

    as one who believes in one god, i believe nothing exist without god...absolutely nothing!
  5. by   HappyNurse2005
    As one who believes in One God, I believe NOTHING exist without GOD...absolutely nothing!
    and I completely agree with you as do many patients-so an atheist nurse/doctor/etc can't function in health care without encountering religion and dealing with it.
  6. by   live4today
    Quote from rninmay2005
    and i completely agree with you as do many patients-so an atheist nurse/doctor/etc can't function in health care without encountering religion and dealing with it.
    exactly!!! :angel2:
  7. by   lindymarie
    Cheerfuldoer,
    I agree with you 100%.

    Linda
  8. by   gwenith
    I deal with the spiritual needs of my clients without the benefit of religion. I am from a society that is far more athiest than America and I would have to dispute your assertion that you cannot deliver health care without "dealing with" religion.
  9. by   HappyNurse2005
    I am from a society that is far more athiest than America and I would have to dispute your assertion that you cannot deliver health care without "dealing with" religion.
    I don't know about teh religious fabric of Australia, but as stated in my post
    Don't quote me on numbers, but I'm fairly certain the majority of the United States population believes in God/actively practices religion/etc.
    I was referring to the United States, since I don't know about the religious makeup of other countries as personally as I do here.
  10. by   Tweety
    Many faithful nurses practice with scientific knowledge. So from a nursing perspective, even the most religious of nurses need to know their science.

    Cultural and spiritual needs of the patient should be addressed nonjudgmentally by the nurse. The nurse should however, not practice his/her religion, unless the patient asks for it. For instance if a nurse and a patient are of the same faith, and the patient asks, and the nurse is comfortable then a nurse can pray with and for a patient. Most hospitals also have Chaplin services. Also, the Christian faith has many hospitals, from Methodists, the Catholic (on of the largest and best hospitals in this area, a major trauma center, is Catholic), and Seventh Day Adventists (one of the largest hospitals in Orlando, and one of the best), to Baptist in my area alone.

    So whether or not we philosophically (sp?) think religion and medicine should mix, the reality I think is that it does, presuming that medicine and nursing are science based.

    I hope this makes sense, as I'm tired, and I'm sorry for any typos.
  11. by   Tweety
    Quote from gwenith
    I deal with the spiritual needs of my clients without the benefit of religion. I am from a society that is far more athiest than America and I would have to dispute your assertion that you cannot deliver health care without "dealing with" religion.

    Some people say "religion" when they mean spirituality. There's a difference, as you are pointing out.
  12. by   mariedoreen
    Looking at what I think is the root of your question: I too wondered about this when I was a lot younger... how those who practice a science based field feel about the existance of God. Can science and religion co-exist in the mind of a practitioner? In fact at 18 I didn't think it was possible and was shocked to discover that the doctor I worked for -- an extremely intelligent man and skilled physician -- was also extremely religious. What I came to discover as I progressed in the health care field was that the more I learned about the scientific aspect of our existance, the more I came to appreciate that there had to be a higher power involved in all of this. Looking at the exact design of our bodies and how everything comes together so perfectly for function, protection, etc.. Well, I found that the science of it all had me in spriritual awe.

    And I came into the health field as an agnostic.
  13. by   henry-106
    I agree with you all. That how can you have science with out religion, especially in the health field. I recently read a Gallup poll that I am refferring to in my paper, that stated that 47% of people would've liked their doctor to pray with them during an illness. Among those who did have their doctors pray with them, 97% believed that it helped them cope with their illness. I think thats the key. When you talk about religion in medicine and such people sometimes think there needs to be a miracle to prove the existance of religion. (Which personally, I think religion should not be required to have proof, thats why there is a thing called faith, and usually it is the scientific believer that wants the proof). But what I am pointing out in my paper is the aspect of religion helping a person cope with the illness. Because when they feel they can cope with it and fight the illness- then more then likely they will overcome it and be in a healthy state. Now I know that are some odds and statistics that disagree with this- but thats what I personally think of. I think that science and religion can be used together in the health world/medicine- almost like a synergy type thing. Where when they are apart- they may not be potentially beneficial as if when they are together.
    Thanks you guys for all the thoughts....I am sure this paper is going to rock some boats when I present it in class....
  14. by   purplemania
    As nurses we are taught to care for the whole person: physically, psychologically and spirtually. To attempt to separate religion and science is to split the wholeness of mankind. We need both. To me each validates the existance of the other. If nothing else consider that without religion on what would we base morals and ethics? Without ethics what constrains science to be applied to mankind in a moral sense?

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