RELIGST 2M03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Parachuting, Embalming, Asphyxia

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Death and Dying: Comparative Views
Religious Studies 2M03
Dr. Sherry Smith
Lecture 1
June 21st 2016
Emotional Responses to Death and Dying
1. Fear
2. Anxiety
3. Anger
4. Sadness, Despair, and Hopelessness
5. Anguish and Guilt
Introduction: The Cross-Cultural Study of Death
Thanatos – Greek Mythology
Thanatology – “the study of death, dying, and bereavement”
Kastenbaum – “the study of life with death left in it”
Dimensions of Thanatology
Philosophical and ethical – the meaning of death in human life;
question of values and ethics
Psychological – mental and emotional effects of death on the
Religious – nature of ultimate reality
Sociological – how groups organize themselves to deal with
social needs and problems related to death and dying
Anthropological – role of culture and environment across time
and space regarding how individuals and societies relate to
death and dying
Clinical – management of death and dying in medical settings;
diagnosis and prognosis; relationships among patients, doctors,
nurses, and other caregivers
Political – government actions and policies related to dying and
Educational – death education in the curriculum; increasing
public awareness of death-related issues and concerns such as
preparing a will
Global Life Expectancy Map
The map on slide 14 shows the difference life expectancy between
low-income countries, and high-income countries on a scale from
32.7 years to 81.5 years.
Life expectancy in South America is on average 10 years lower
than the life expectancy of North America
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Monaco and Chad
The African state of Chad has the lowest life expectancy in the
world at 48.69 years
Extremely poor country as depicted on Slide 19, showing a
refugee camp
80% of the population lives below the poverty line
11.2 million people
“Dead Heart of Africa”
Northern part of the country is dominated by the Saharan Desert
Since independence, experienced heavy conflict
Many people depend on agriculture, which is difficult in the
arid environment
Monaco has the highest life expectancy in the world at 89.68
Monaco is a very small country depicted on Slide 16 and 17
36,000 people and one of the most densely populated countries in
the world
Tourism and gambling makes up most of the income
No taxes making the country attractive to the rich
Compulsory state funded health care
How many people die every year?
56 million people die per year as of 2012.
What is the number one cause of death throughout the world?
Isachemic Heart Disease or Cardiovascular Disease is the number
one cause of death as of 2012.
What are the main differences between rich and poor countries
with respect to cause of death? Low, middle, and high income
categories are defined by the World Bank.
Notice that many of the causes of death experienced in low-
income countries are negligible to the causes of death listed
for high-income countries and vice versa.
This may occur because of the difference in access to healthcare
Many of the causes of death listed for low-income countries are
illnesses that are easily avoidable, treatable, or curable in
high-income countries (i.e. tuberculosis)
The disease listed for high-income countries include disease
that are nearly unavoidable,
How many children die under the age of 5 die each year? (2012
6.6 million children die each year
99% of these death occurred in low income countries
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