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 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.

The concept of the Imago Dei, or the Image of God, is an important theological concept within the Christian religion. It has been shaped by various interpretations and understandings throughout history. The term itself is derived from the Latin language, where “Imago” means image and “Dei” means God.

There are several different definitions that have been ascribed to the Imago Dei. Firstly, it has been understood as physical similarities that people possess which resemble God. This can include attributes such as reason, creativity, and moral consciousness. Secondly, the Imago Dei has been described as expressing the coequality between humans and God within the universe. This understanding emphasizes the intricate relationship between humans and their divine Creator. Thirdly, the Imago Dei refers to the human status as created beings, indicating that humans are distinct and set apart from the rest of creation. Lastly, the concept of the Image of God also signifies that humans are meant to be representatives or reflections of God on earth. This understanding stresses the role of humans in manifesting God’s goodness and character in the world.

Numerous bible verses reference and discuss the Imago Dei, providing scriptural support for this concept. For instance, in Genesis 1:26-27, it is explicitly stated that human beings are created in the image of God. Other passages in the New Testament, such as 1 Corinthians, James, Psalms, and Ezekiel, further highlight the significance of the Imago Dei.

Throughout history, several influential theologians have contributed to the development and understanding of the Imago Dei. The works of Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin, and Carl Barth, in particular, have made significant contributions to the doctrines surrounding the Image of God. These theologians have provided detailed explanations and insights into the existence and implications of the Imago Dei in human beings.

So why is the Image of God important in healthcare? This concept holds great significance for healthcare professionals as it informs their understanding of the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. According to the biblical account in Genesis, every human being is made in the image of God, meaning that they possess inherent value and are deserving of respect and care. This perspective shapes how healthcare practitioners approach and interact with their patients.

From a healthcare standpoint, the concept of the Imago Dei has particular relevance to the issue of abortion. In the field of science, the unborn child is often described as “not fully human,” a “potential human being,” or “pre-human.” These categorizations are inconsistent with the understanding of the Imago Dei as taught in scripture. According to Christian beliefs, human beings are either alive or dead. The union of an egg and sperm produces a person, a human being, irrespective of any defects or imperfections. Therefore, the understanding of the Image of God challenges the notion that certain individuals are less deserving of protection or care based on their status as an unborn child or their physical condition.

Moreover, healthcare professionals encounter a variety of complex and challenging issues in their practice, such as marked deformities, mental retardation, brain damage, cancer, and patients with compromised mental or physical health. The understanding that human beings are created in the image of God can greatly influence the approach and treatment of these individuals. Viewing patients as persons, rather than mere medical cases, and approaching them with love and compassion can greatly enhance the quality of care provided.

In conclusion, the concept of the Imago Dei holds significant theological and practical importance within the Christian faith. It informs the understanding of human worth and dignity, shapes the way healthcare professionals view and treat their patients, and challenges certain assumptions regarding the value and sanctity of human life. By recognizing and affirming the Image of God in each person, healthcare practitioners can strive to provide compassionate and respectful care to all individuals, regardless of their physical or mental condition.