Bioethics for clinicians: 19. Hinduism and Sikhism

Coward, Harold; Sidhu, Tejinder; Singer, Dr. Peter A.
October 2000
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;10/31/2000, Vol. 163 Issue 9, p1167
Academic Journal
Hindus and Sikhs constitute important minority communities in Canada. Although their cultural and religious traditions have profound differences, they both traditionally take a duty-based rather than rights-based approach to ethical decision-making. These traditions also share a belief in rebirth, a concept of karma (in which experiences in one life influence experiences in future lives), an emphasis on the value of purity, and a holistic view of the person that affirms the importance of family, culture, environment and the spiritual dimension of experience. Physicians with Hindu and Sikh patients need to be sensitive to and respectful of the diversity of their cultural and religious assumptions regarding human nature, purity, health and illness, life and death, and the status of the individual.


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