Jan 25, 2018 in Book Review

Religion and Medical Practice

Durant, W. (1994). Caesar and Christ. New York, NY: MJF Books.

Sometimes, spiritual and health matters become intertwined. To begin with, spiritual wellness is connected to the overall state of health. Specifically, a spiritually catered person has a high chance of being well-health and wise. The view holds more weight in regards to issues of health bordering on disorders or stress as explore in the book, Caesar and Christ by Durant. Indeed spiritual teachings help believers on such issues as how to handle stressful matters. This allows spiritual people to overcome stress related to health complications as well as disorders. Despite the complementary nature of spiritual matters and health, sometimes, conflicts emerge regarding the two.

Mathews, D. A. (1998). The faith factor. New York: Viking press.

The book is among the first to delve into research results on the link between religion and health. The book also concluded on the recommended clinical applications to overcome any controversies that emerge. Mathews (199) further considers conflicts between spiritual and health matters by observing that issues gravitating around ethics often arise. At this stage, it is significant to note that health is a diverse topic that extends to abortion, end of life debates, or assisted suicide among others. More precisely, ethical concerns are the primary aspects that put the two aspects in conflict.

Koenig, H. G. (1998). Handbook of religion and mental health. San Diego: Academic press.

The book considers mental health. The consideration is done in regards to the extension of healthcare services to people who come from different health backgrounds. Those considered include: Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish. The book is designed for clinicians as it describes how religion-based beliefs are associated with mental illnesses. The book also goes further to capture how religious backgrounds affect the delivery of mental health care. The book has various chapters including some on religion, personality, anxiety, coping behavior, psychoses, etc.

Koenig, H. G. (1994). Aging and God: Spiritual paths to mental health in midlife and later years. New York: Haworth Press.

In the above book, the author gives an in-depth analysis on how religion relates to the treatment of mental illnesses. Focusing on elderly patients, the author establishes that religious backgrounds influenced how patients responded to treatment. Koenig (1994) also established that parents have cited religious beliefs as a reason for avoiding seeking medical care. Moreover, some jurisdictions bar governments or non-governmental organizations from taking corrective measures whenever parents use religion to prevent their children from seeking healthcare services. In views of healthcare practitioners, religion cannot be used as a defense to deny people medical care. However, spiritual matters impede such pursuits. Thus, based on this paper, health and spiritual matters may conflict at given instances.


It is factual that religion influences both the growth and development of people. Thus, it influences several choices that they make. Such influences also end up affecting health deliberations. Sometimes, the impact leads to taking decisions that are not amenable with healthcare expectations.


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