Sikhism: Care of Women, Coping with Illness and End-of-Life Care

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The Sikh religion originated in Pakistan in 1499, founded by Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Sikhism believes in one God, and the goodness of the human soul, and while it takes concepts from both Hinduism and the Muslim religion, it is an entirely unique religion. World-wide, the Sikh religion has over twenty-two million followers, and is considered the fifth largest religion in the world. North America is experiencing an increase in citizens of Sikh religion and this means that healthcare providers have to continually become more knowledgeable about this religion in order to properly deal with Sikh patients (Mago, 2001). Within this paper, the issues of the care of women, coping with illness, as well as end-of-life care will be discussed. Each of …show more content…
Also, if it is necessary for the headdress to be removed, it is often requested that something be worn instead, even if it is something such as a surgical bouffant cap (Mago, 2001). There are very areas that can be discussed within Sikhism when discussing how members of this religion cope with illness. To begin, Sikhs value the knowledge of healthcare, although they often refuse to shave the hair on their body before an operation since it is noted as disrespectful in their religion to cut their hair (Crane, 2009). When a Sikh is faced with illness, there is always prayer to God, to seek help as well as offer forgiveness and obtain peace. Often patients will also listen to sacred music known as Keertan (Mago, 2001). Sikhs believe in reincarnation of the body. Followers will often refuse strenuous treatment, and instead accept the will of God. It is also thought that, because of a strong emphasis on God’s will, that if a person is meant to recover they will do so without treatment. Upon the death of a Sikh, scripture is read and a ceremony is held for them usually a week later (Crane, 2009). Upon the death of a loved one, Sikhs give the same respect to the dead body as it was when it was alive. Also, the family members may wish to wash and clothe the deceased immediately following death, and with minimal delay,

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