Cultural Views on Health Essay Sample
A huge part of everyone’s life is their health. At a very young age here in America we are taught that if we become sick with an illness or disease we need to seek medical attention to find a cure. However there are many cultures in which their religious beliefs interfere with them being able to seek treatment, because it is a sign from God. This paper will talk about the Middle Eastern Community and their views on health care. Arabs & Muslim Beliefs toward healthcare
The Arab and Islamic religions emphasizes to its members that they need to maintain good health or consequences will result. Muslims in particular will seek medical treatment when needed, but see illness as a sign of sins they may have committed and view death as a sign of a journey or destiny to God. It is believed that worshipping God will ensure their bodies will be in good health and pure, whereas some believe that if God is not believed in, certain illnesses are placed on those people as a way to punish them. Both the Arab and Islamic religions have confidence in medical professionals, however nurses are perceived as only helpers and not health care professionals. This can interfere with health communication barriers because their advice or suggestions are not taken seriously.
Gender plays a major role in the medical attention needed. If an Arab woman is pregnant, for instance, then the medical doctor needs to be a woman as well. A male doctor is frowned upon, unless an emergency arises where there is no one else to help. It is the Arab belief that no other male is even allowed to be in the room before and after the woman gives birth. If you’re a male Arab, you are considered the dominant gender, so it does not matter what gender the doctor is that is giving the treatment or advice. Here in America the gender of a doctor is solely based on that person’s decision as to who they seek for medical advice. There are many people in today’s society that it does not matter to them what gender the doctor is, but only that they have the qualifications and education to treat and give the advice. It has been said that the Middle-Eastern community has a tendency of the husbands pulling their wives away from a medical exam due to the fact that the doctor was a male. Support for the sick
Trust and support issues often make it difficult to give the ill person the treatment needed to get better. Muslims and Arabs mostly only trust the ones close to them, giving them the comfort and support needed for the patient’s recovery. In most cases an ill Arab or Muslim will not seek medical attention only if they have someone close to them such as a relative or close family member there with them to help with the process of seeking medical attention. In most cases where there is an ill Arab or Muslim member not only are they frowned upon but also the whole family is looked down upon bringing about embarrassment and shame.
Prayer is a method in which the Arabs and Muslims believe to connect them to their God to help the patient to recover quickly. As a medical professional, when a patient decides they need to pray, we need to be respectful and aware of their religious beliefs. Muslims also observe a month long period of fasting. Fasting is a method of both physical and spiritual purification as a means to annually re-acquaint the observer with the physical sensation of hunger to foster empathy towards the poor. This means that Muslims may refuse food, drink, sexual activity, or other substances such as medication during this month. Conclusion
There are many cultures in which barriers are set to seek medical attention immediately, which if too late the end result can be deadly. Fortunately, I live in a country where my country lets me decide who and when I seek such attention, however for the Middle Eastern community it is not that easy. Although the Arabs and Muslims seek medical treatment, they are likely to keep important information to their selves who can hinder their quick recovery from an illness or disease.
Helman, A.G. 1997. Culture, Health, and Illness. Third Edition. Boston: Butterwoth Heinemann. Kulwicki, A. 1990. Cardiovascular and Diabetes Survey.