I am very much enjoying the author’s voice in “Bioethics: A Primer for Christians.” I am probably one of the only non-Christians in this class, so I find Meilaender’s style approachable and his explanations of the Christian religion easy to follow and understand. I appreciate the preface where he says “all are welcome and invited to listen in.” I am grateful for this opportunity to learn more about the Christian religion, as the majority of my patients in west Michigan are of this faith! I like that he points out the revisions he has made over time as science has changed over the years. I think it is important to continually examine individual beliefs and be open to changes in perspective without compromising core values and beliefs. Healthy, respectful discussions with our peers are essential in these changing times.

“We need not, I think, fear that seeking medical help necessarily demonstrates lack of trust or faith on our part. Rather, it indicates only that we trust God to care for us mediately – through the love and concern of others” (Meilaender, 2013). I think this is a beautiful statement on the analysis of disease and healing. God can present Himself in indirect ways, such as through the healing hands of a doctor or nurse. If a patient is struggling with a diagnosis, going to the hospital for modern treatment does not mean they do not have faith in God. Just as people rely on their church communities for emotional and spiritual support, they can come to the hospital with physical symptoms and be treated without judgment from other people. As nurses, if we try to see each patient as God sees them, no matter who they are or what they may have done in life, we truly are serving these people and their families.

I’ve had people I just met hug me and thank me for what I do when they find out I’m an oncology nurse. This surprised me early on in my career, but then the person would go on to tell me a story of someone close to them who had cancer. People associate us with healing, and sometimes a hug from a stranger can be just the sign someone needs that God is watching over them.

Meilaender, G. (2013). Bioethics: a primer for Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co.


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