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11: Death and Dying

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  • Page ID
    3077
    • 11.1: Introduction to Death and Dying
      A dying process that allows an individual to make choices about treatment, to say goodbyes and to take care of final arrangements is what many people hope for. Such a death might be considered a “good death.” But of course, many deaths do not occur in this way.
    • 11.2: Most Common Causes of Death
      In 1900, the most common causes of death were infectious diseases which brought death quickly. Today, the most common causes of death are chronic diseases in which a slow and steady decline in health ultimately results in death.
    • 11.3: The Process of Dying
      Physiological death occurs when the vital organs no longer function. Social death occurs when others begin to withdraw from someone who is terminally ill or has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Psychic death occurs when the dying person begins to accept death and to withdraw from others and regress into the self.
    • 11.4: Five Stages of Loss
      Kubler-Ross describes five stages of loss experienced by someone who faces the news of their impending death. The process of death is influenced by a person’s life experiences, the timing of their death in relation to life events, the predictability of their death based on health or illness, their belief system, and their assessment of the quality of their own life.
    • 11.5: Palliative Care and Hospice
      Palliative care focuses on providing comfort and relief from physical and emotional pain to patients throughout their illness even while being treated. Hospice involves caring for dying patients by helping them be as free from pain as possible, providing them with assistance to complete wills and other arrangements for their survivors, giving them social support through the psychological stages of loss, and helping family members cope with the dying process, grief, and bereavement.
    • 11.6: Euthanasia
      Euthanasia, or helping a person fulfill their wish to die, can happen in two ways: voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Voluntary euthanasia refers to helping someone fulfill their wish to die by acting in such a way to help that person’s life end. Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician prescribes the means by which a person can end his or her own life.
    • 11.7: Bereavement and Grief
      Bereavement refers to outward expressions of grief. Mourning and funeral rites are expressions of loss that reflect personal and cultural beliefs about the meaning of death and the afterlife. Ceremonies provide survivors a sense of closure after a loss. These rites and ceremonies send the message that the death is real and allow friends and loved ones to express their love and duty to those who die. Grief is the psychological, physical, and emotional experience of loss.
    • Essay: Middle and Late Adulthood
    • Lecture: Death and Dying
    • Slideshow: Death and Dying
    • Study Guide: Middle and Late Adulthood
    • Unit 4 Exam

    Thumbnail: Captain Andrew Drake (1684–1743) sandstone gravestone from the Stelton Baptist Church Edison, New Jersey. Image used with permission (CC BY 2.5; Richard Arthur Norton).