Ethical Issues Relating to Faith Healing Practices in South Asia: A Medical PerspectiveSiddharth Sarkar, Sreekanth Sakey and Shivanand Kattimani*
Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
- *Corresponding Author:
- Shivanand Kattimani
Department of Psychiatry, JIPMER
Dhanvantari nagar, Pondicherry-605 006, India
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: April 22, 2014; Accepted date: July 23, 2014; Published date: July 25, 2014
Citation: Sarkar S (2014) Ethical Issues Relating to Faith Healing Practices in South Asia: A Medical Perspective. J Clinic Res Bioeth 5:190. doi: 10.4172/2155-9627.1000190
Copyright: 2014 Sarkar S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Despite growing access to modern medicine, faith healing practices still continue to be prevalent in South Asia. Faith healing practices include a wide range of activities like performing elaborate rituals, recommending amulets, suggestion for wearing specific rings, branding with rods, chaining in temples, exorcism of jinn and ghosts, animal sacrifices and others. In this paper, faith healing practices are evaluated on the principles of medical ethics using specific examples. The principle of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice are explored. The authors draw inference that while some practices may be unacceptable and should be curtailed, the overall institution of faith healing might be useful for some people.