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In the Christian religion, the Imago-Dei, a Latin word meaning “the Image of God” has been influenced by several definitions, 1. Physical similarities people have with God. 2. Describes people as God’s coequal in the universe. 3. Refers to the human’s status as created beings 4. People as representation of God on earth.  There are several bible verses that deal and describe the Imago Dei or “the Image of God”, in Genesis, 1 Corinthians, James, in Psalm and in Ezekiel.  Some influential theologians on the Image of God that have been significant in contributing to the doctrines of the imago-dei are Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and Carl Barth. Each of this theologians, explain in though rough detail the how the Image of God exists in people.   

Why is the Image of God important in healthcare?  Well, we are all made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) tells us clearly that human beings are made in the image of God. Nursing in my own opinion, is a career with a special calling. It is a talent and a gift to use for the glory of God. God’s image is the foundational concept for understanding our purpose in life.  According to Dr. Dough Heimburger, man made in the Image of God is an important piece to the puzzle for the practice of medicine.  

This concept is important to understand and relevant in healthcare for many reasons, one very important issue that we have been facing in medicine for years, is the issue of abortion. In the science world the unborn child is referred to as “not fully human”, a potential human being” or “pre-human”. Well these descriptions are inconsistent with the presence of the image of God. According to scriptures and Christianity human beings are either alive or dead. The union of an egg and a sperm produce a person, a human being regardless of defects.

We encounter many issues in healthcare: marked deformities, mental retardation, brain damage, cancer, patients whose mind no longer function rationally or alcoholics or the lady infected with HIV by her unfaithful husband.  As healthcare workers we either approach patients as persons and help them or we treat them as patients and then help them. If we approach people with a conscious attitude that they are created in the image of God and our knowledge and love for others, greatly enhances the treatment of the patient.


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The concept of the Imago-Dei, or the Image of God, holds significant importance in healthcare. It serves as a reminder of the inherent value and dignity of every individual, regardless of their physical or mental condition.

As stated in Genesis 1:26-27, human beings are made in the image of God. This biblical teaching emphasizes the unique qualities and characteristics that set humans apart from other creations. Understanding and acknowledging this fundamental truth can greatly impact the way healthcare professionals approach and care for their patients.

The Image of God reminds healthcare workers that each patient is not merely a medical case or a statistic, but a person deserving of respect, compassion, and dignity. This perspective fosters a patient-centered approach, where the well-being and individual needs of the patient are prioritized.

Moreover, recognizing the Image of God in each patient encourages healthcare professionals to uphold the highest ethical standards. It supports the notion that every life, regardless of its stage or condition, is sacred and should be protected. This has implications in contentious issues such as abortion, where the belief in the sanctity of life guides medical decision-making.

In practice, the concept of the Imago-Dei promotes holistic care that encompasses not only the physical aspects but also the emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of patients. Healthcare professionals who approach their work with an understanding of the Image of God are more likely to view patients as whole persons and not just the manifestation of a medical condition.

By integrating the principles of the Imago-Dei into healthcare, healthcare professionals can provide care that is not only technically proficient but also compassionate and respectful. This approach acknowledges the inherent worth and potential of each individual, empowering patients to actively participate in their own healing process.

In conclusion, the recognition of the Image of God in healthcare serves as a guiding principle for medical professionals. It reminds us of the intrinsic value of every person, informs ethical decision-making, and encourages a holistic approach to patient care. By embracing this concept, healthcare professionals can enhance their understanding and practice of medicine as a service to humanity.

[Bible Verses]. (n.d.). In The Holy Bible (King James Version). Retrieved from

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