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Lecture 6

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McMaster University
Religious Studies
Sherry Smith

Helen Stanton Chapple -she did a study in 2 hospitals, and she says that American hospitals are based on an imperative for heroic rescue and stabilization of any patient. This leaves very little room or space for dying in a hospital. -dying is poorly defined and happens in the shadows of hospitals. It’s not something they want you to see. -to be acceptable in the American hospitals, death should happen w very little dying at all. Neither the dying patient or the dying process has any status in the American hospitals, and she says this needs to be changed. -the ideology of rescue powers the ICU unit. Rescue arises from technology, individualism, equality and heroism. -the ideology of rescue continues to endure because of the heartiness of the view of death as unnatural and socially contaminated. If death is unnatural, then it must be resisted. -Ritual of intensification is a key component of her description of dying in American hospitals and it explains the process in which lines are drawn between the living and the dying. ROI begins when patients are alive but they don’t improve. It’s the redoubling of all ways in which they try and stabilize and bring people back to health. Patients are not deemed as dead until everything is body is no longer working, and every effort has been made to repair it. -death management/construction is what chapple calls it. -She describes the ICU as Public, bc she wants to view the roi as a damaged ritual Sharon Kaufman -she examines how time and death are structured within American hospitals, especially win the ICU unit. -she is especially interested in patients in the threshold between life and death- this is what she refers to as the grey zone. -Although patients wanted to control the way death happens, she found that few people are every prepared or have decisions made when the time of death is near; it’s always put off. -this problem is entrenched by health care professionals who rarely talk about death until it’s happening, and by families. The problem is also embedded in the political and economic part in the American health care system -the article says that people must acknowledge their own r
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