Caring for the Low German Mennonites
How Religious Beliefs and Practices Influence Health Care
What happens when health care providers meet patients whose religious views contrast with mainstream health practices? This book focuses on a unique religious group, the Low German Mennonites, to examine the ways in which beliefs and practices influence members’ interactions with the health care system.
Drawing on nearly twenty years of research, Judith Kulig presents a meticulous account and vivid illustration of the influence of religion on Low German Mennonites’ conceptions of health and illness, women’s health, death and dying, and mental health. In doing so, she identifies the overlaps and differences between the norms of that community and those of the health care system. She elucidates a process for acknowledging and respectfully inquiring about a patient’s beliefs, and for taking them into account in the planning of care and implementation of treatment. As she argues, health care providers must develop cultural competence to provide effective care for their patients.
This book serves as a rich and detailed example of working respectfully and effectively with a minority religious group. Kulig shows that trust and understanding are key to providing appropriate and equitable health care.
This book will be of interest to health and social service providers practising among distinct religious groups, as well as students and researchers in the fields of health, social science, and rural studies working with Low German Mennonites.
The data presented in the book provide an in-depth perspective of the importance of healthcare concerns and indicate community openness to improving access and delivery. It is encouraging that these groups by and large are sufficiently aware of and trusting to seek out the best care when available. Science and medicine are appreciated for their values in improving life.
Dr. Judith King is a well-known rural health researcher who has spent twenty years of her academic career studying Low German Mennonites...She adeptly portrays the complexity of this group.
Foreword / John Janzen
1 A Brief History of the Low German Mennonites
2 Health and Illness
3 Women’s Health
4 Death and Dying
5 Mental Health
Notes; References; Index
Cross-Cultural Caring, 2nd ed.
A Handbook for Health Professionals
Doctors for a Healthy Society
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