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  1. #1
    soon2bMS is offline Member
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    When your patient is a Baha'i...Please read.

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    Hello everyone,

    Since I'm a baha'i and I have yet to run into any baha'i medical students on this website, I thought I would put out a word of understanding regarding physician's who may treat someone who is a baha'i and may have questions about why we do certain things.

    Prayer and Meditation:
    Bahá'ís are required to pray and meditate on a daily basis. They believe that prayer will assist in healing, but that it is not to be used as the exclusive means of curing physical ailments - the assistance of a ?competent physician? must also be sought. There are special prayers for healing but there is no set form of meditation - this is left entirely to the individual.

    Smoking:
    Bahá'ís are strongly encouraged not to smoke tobacco; its use should be subject to considerations of courtesy for the rights of others and the well-being of their own bodies. (I'm still working on this one)

    Diet:
    There are no dietary restrictions in the Bahá'í Faith. Bahá'ís recognize the vital importance of diet and nutrition in promoting health and preventing illness. They are encouraged to be moderate in what they eat. Furthermore, they understand that current knowledge of the role of nutrition in preserving health and treating illness is still incomplete.

    This next one is important. I remember when I was a surgical assistant at a women's health clinic, we tossed birth control at women like candy. If the women didn't take it and were sexually active, we looked down upon them. I can remember the NP having long talks with women about birth control and why they should use them. It's unlikely that you will see a baha'i women asking for birth control unless she is married. However, please keep in mind that in our writtings, it is forbidden for us to take birth control. Women who aren't married should not be taking them nor should they be having sexual relationships requiring them. Males who aren't married shouldn't be asking for condom's.

    Childbearing, Family Planning and Abortion:
    In addition to its purpose of improving the spiritual life of husband and wife, Bahá'ís understand the purpose of marriage to also include the perpetuation of the human race; thus the rearing of children is an important responsibility. Each couple may decide on the size of their family and are free to choose a method of contraception. The intra-uterine contraception device, because of its abortifacient potential, is unlikely to be chosen because Bahá'ís believe that the soul becomes associated with the body at conception and the deliberate taking of human life is generally not permitted. The Bahá'í Writings clearly state that abortion merely to prevent the birth of an unwanted child is forbidden. At the present time, the Bahá'í institutions do not legislate on the issue of abortion and it is left to the individuals concerned to decide on the best course of action. Such a decision would be based on consultation with all concerned, including the doctor(s), and would take into account the mother's physical and emotional health and the Bahá'í teachings on the nature of the soul and the sanctity of human life.

    Operations that render either partner permanently sterile are not permitted unless recommended for the health of the individual involved, by the best medical advice available.

    Couples having difficulty conceiving can use artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization provided that the egg of the wife is fertilized by the sperm of the husband.

    Circumcision:
    Bahá'ís are not advised on a particular course of action in respect to circumcision of males; circumcision of females is considered mutilation.

    Prolonging Life:
    The Bahá'í Writings do not advise about withholding or removing life support in disabling or terminal illness where intervention prolongs life. This decision is made by family members after careful consultation with appropriate health care professionals, and with due regard to the Bahá'í teachings on the nature of the soul and the sanctity of human life. It is also left to the conscience of the individual whether or not to subscribe to a living will?. Bahá'ís are counselled not to take their own life for any reason.

    Death:
    Bahá'ís believe that the soul is eternal and that even after death the physical body should be treated with respect. Embalming and cremation are prohibited for Bahá'ís unless required by law. The body is to be buried within one hour's journey from the place of death, and as soon as possible after death.

    Donations of Organs and Blood:
    Organ donation is allowed. Bodies may be donated for research but must be treated with respect and eventually buried within one hour's journey from the place of death. Bahá'ís can donate blood and receive blood transfusions.

    Support for Bahá'ís:
    There is no clergy in the Bahá'í Faith. The Bahá'í community is governed locally and nationally by elected councils called Spiritual Assemblies. These Assemblies are responsible for overseeing the affairs of the community in their jurisdiction and, in particular, serving the Bahá'ís in their area. Spiritual Assemblies officiate at Bahá'í marriages and funerals. They can also provide counseling services and support.

    Thank you for your time. I would love to see other create thread on how to treat other faiths since I'm deeply concerned about this. As a potential physician, I do not want to impose my belief on another person and it would be helpful to know how to treat a patient who faith is different than your own. This thread is intent to help those who may come across baha'is during their career and may have questions why we do things in terms death, dying, illness and healthcare.

    Thanks,

    -Dr.2B

  2. #2
    teratos's Avatar
    teratos is offline Jedi Moderator 657 points
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    Yeah

    I was wondering about that....
    AUC Class of '99
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    I may be a jerk, but I'm a Jedi jerk like my father.

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  3. #3
    wolfvgang22 is offline Moderator 514 points
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    :shrug:

    Not much of that seems particularly troubling in the medical context to me, I mean it's not like Bahai are radicals or anything. All a "bahai" or any other patient needs to do is inform thier doc of any potential problems or needs vis a vis their religion.
    I don't think it's my business to say something like, "now wait a second little lady, you shouldn't use the pill because you said your 'bahai'."
    Saba University School of Medicine, Class of 2009
    Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

  4. #4
    soon2bMS is offline Member
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    No problem, I just put it up for people who may want to know

    I just put the article up so that those of us who going into the medical field maybe aware. Alot of what I posted I just learned as being a baha'i. For instance, when we die, we don't get imbalmed. I also didn't know we are not to be cremated after death.

    However, I wasn't posting this thread for anyone to be the gruadian of the person, just for people's information who want to know. I guess that's why we are instructed to make a will so that when death does occur, people will know what to do with the body. I'm sure my Mom dosen't know this so I'll have to inform her not to have me imbalmed at death.


    -Dr.2B

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    mushmouth is offline Member
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    What did I miss...hmmm?

    Other than the “spiritual assemblies” and their role thereof, everything else that you’ve mentioned doesn’t sound any different than what would be considered a “standard” set of guidelines for many religious denominations, in particular those of a Christian value system, the praxis of which is altogether a different issue. Sure, the practice of cultural sensitivity in the treatment of a patient is of prime importance, but unless I missed something, you really haven’t revealed anything new or that requires any special consideration or understanding. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but maybe you can expound or maybe you just need to learn more about your religion and/or beliefs thereof...hmmm

  6. #6
    soon2bMS is offline Member
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    Re: What did I miss...hmmm?

    Quote Originally Posted by mushmouth
    Other than the “spiritual assemblies” and their role thereof, everything else that you’ve mentioned doesn’t sound any different than what would be considered a “standard” set of guidelines for many religious denominations, in particular those of a Christian value system, the praxis of which is altogether a different issue. Sure, the practice of cultural sensitivity in the treatment of a patient is of prime importance, but unless I missed something, you really haven’t revealed anything new or that requires any special consideration or understanding. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but maybe you can expound or maybe you just need to learn more about your religion and/or beliefs thereof...hmmm
    I just posted this information for those that don't know about the baha'i faith. It was not to educate anyone on the faith. The thread is intended for physicians who are treating a patient who is a baha'i and knows nothing about the faith. So, if this is no different than the way you would treat a patient who is a non-baha'i, that is good also. I just thought it would be helpful to those who take into consideration one's faith when treating patients.

    -Dr.2B

  7. #7
    wolfvgang22 is offline Moderator 514 points
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    Re: What did I miss...hmmm?

    Quote Originally Posted by soon2bMS
    Quote Originally Posted by mushmouth
    Other than the “spiritual assemblies” and their role thereof, everything else that you’ve mentioned doesn’t sound any different than what would be considered a “standard” set of guidelines for many religious denominations, in particular those of a Christian value system, the praxis of which is altogether a different issue. Sure, the practice of cultural sensitivity in the treatment of a patient is of prime importance, but unless I missed something, you really haven’t revealed anything new or that requires any special consideration or understanding. Sorry, I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but maybe you can expound or maybe you just need to learn more about your religion and/or beliefs thereof...hmmm
    I just posted this information for those that don't know about the baha'i faith. It was not to educate anyone on the faith. The thread is intended for physicians who are treating a patient who is a baha'i and knows nothing about the faith. So, if this is no different than the way you would treat a patient who is a non-baha'i, that is good also. I just thought it would be helpful to those who take into consideration one's faith when treating patients.

    -Dr.2B
    Ok, cool. No worries, then!
    Have a great day. 8)
    Saba University School of Medicine, Class of 2009
    Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

  8. #8
    mushmouth is offline Member
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    To be or not to be not..what?

    O.K. Wolf…if you say so…I’m still confused though…the thread is not meant to “…educate anyone…” on the Baha’i faith, rather it is intended to provide information to those that know nothing about the Baha’i faith...kinda sounds similar, yet contradictory…could this possibly be a tautological statement…hmmm? Oh boy, I must really be bored…you’re right Wolf…I better leave this one alone…yikes

  9. #9
    soon2bMS is offline Member
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    Re: To be or not to be not..what?

    Quote Originally Posted by mushmouth
    O.K. Wolf…if you say so…I’m still confused though…the thread is not meant to “…educate anyone…” on the Baha’i faith, rather it is intended to provide information to those that know nothing about the Baha’i faith...kinda sounds similar, yet contradictory…could this possibly be a tautological statement…hmmm? Oh boy, I must really be bored…you’re right Wolf…I better leave this one alone…yikes
    Ok let me put it this way..... I put this thread here for those that do care about the faith of the patients they treat. If you see no importance in this thread, then so be it. Yes, it would be better for you to leave this one alone.

    In the meantime, for those that do consider this an important issue, I would love to hear about your faith. I took a transcultrual health class and I found that class very helpful in learning how faith plays a role in treating a patient. I recommend anyone going into medicine to learn about the faith of others. As a future physician, I would love to learn about other faith's that way I never offend anyone when I make recommendations.


    -Dr.2B

  10. #10
    wolfvgang22 is offline Moderator 514 points
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    Re: To be or not to be not..what?

    Quote Originally Posted by soon2bMS
    In the meantime, for those that do consider this an important issue, I would love to hear about your faith. I took a transcultrual health class and I found that class very helpful in learning how faith plays a role in treating a patient. I recommend anyone going into medicine to learn about the faith of others. As a future physician, I would love to learn about other faith's that way I never offend anyone when I make recommendations.
    -Dr.2B
    Sounds like a healthy attitude to me!
    Personally, I think it would be great if everybody could get a BA in Theology like I did, it's a massive growing experience, and you learn a lot of the ins and outs of different religions.
    But not everybody wants to do that, for some odd reason....
    So, I guess we should just be compassionate and understanding of patients needs, and treat them with the same respect that we would want for ourselves. That's what it really all boils down to, anyway, right? I haven't yet come across a person whose beliefs contradict that. 8)
    Saba University School of Medicine, Class of 2009
    Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

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