Religion and Alternative Forms of Medicine

Religion as defined by Dictionary. com is defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Within the Caribbean, there are many religions found due to persons’ varying beliefs and as such when it comes to the use of medicines within these religions, it varies in order to suit their religious beliefs.

With the recent outbreak of new strains of diseases like Chikungunya and Ebola, it poses one question: how are persons medicating themselves? The most common medium in which to combat these diseases and even the common cold would be to visit the central place of healing, the hospital. Here, there are doctors and persons trained in the art of healing to care for these diseases with antidotes formulated in scientific labs.

However some religions do not believe in such methods natural, organic and/or spiritual means to combat illnesses. Islam, Jehovah’s Witness and Shouter Baptism are just three of the many religions found regionally and internationally that fit these criteria and will be focused on within this study. As their religious backgrounds vary so greatly, there are different takes on the use of medication. For example for each religion stated above, the treatment for Diabetics and Anaemia sufferers will vary.

The title of this study is “What are the alternative forms of medicines used in the Muslim, Jehovah’s Witness and Shouter Baptists religions for medical conditions such as; Diabetes and Anaemia ? ” The research questions to be answered include: 1. What are the religious beliefs that cause the religions to differ? 2. What medical diseases or conditions utilise different medications? What are the religious beliefs behind this? 3. If one wishes to use a different medication from the religious custom, would that put them in contempt of their belief? Are there any medications that would not contradict with their religious belief? 4.

If a person strays from the norm of their religious belief in order to survive, what predicament are they put in with respect to their religious organisation (church, temple etc. )? It is expected that there would be a lot of different religions and that specific diseases would be focused on in order to identify the differences properly. Some medical options may clash with persons’ religious beliefs and as such, will either have to comply and settle in order to stick to their beliefs or break their rules in order to survive.