If people are no more valuable than rocks or pets, then how do we care for the sick, handicapped, or dying if they don’t matter?
Imago dei, or “image of God” is fundamental in Christian nursing. “The Christian understanding of human beings as created in the image of God bestows dignity and honor on every person, regardless of social, mental or physical status,” (Shelly & Miller, 2006, 76). The postmodern viewpoint, on the other hand, has a different viewpoint on humanity. We are part of a living Earth, with our human life being no more valuable than an inanimate object (a rock) or an animal such as a cat or a dog (Shelly & Miller, 2006, 76). Why does this matter? Our love of our God drives us to care for others, for each person represents the face of God and His love for us. This love and humanity bestowed on each person creates dignity and respect for all people. It forms the bedrock of our call to duty as nurses. The postmodern viewpoint strips this from our nursing toolbox. If people are no more valuable than rocks or pets, then how do we care for the sick, handicapped, or dying if they don’t matter? “Whenever a society ceased to recognize the image of God in human beings, whether in the name of science, political ideology, religion or simply greed, serious moral decay soon followed. We have only to look at the Nazi Holocaust, the decline of compassionate healthcare under the Communist regimes and our own proﬁt-driven health care system for vivid illustrations,” (Shelly & Miller, 2006, 76).