Death and Dying.doc

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Health Sciences
Health Sciences 2711A/B
Aleksandra Zecevic

Death and Dying Phases of Death 1. Agonal phase – Suffering in first moments body can no longer support life 2. Clinical death – Heart, breathing, brain stopped but can still be resuscitated 3. Mortality – Permanent death ¾ people die a prolonged death • Brain death – All activity in brain and brain stem stopped – Irreversible • Persistent vegetative state – Activity in cerebral cortex stopped – Brain stem still active • Important for Death with Dignity: – Communication with and care of dying person: – Assurance of support – Humane, compassionate care – Esteem and respect – Candid about certainty of death – Information to make end-of-life choices Children learn about death in this order, usually through the death of a pet. By middle childhood, they usually have an adult-like understanding of death: • Permanence • Inevitability • Cessation • Applicability • Causation • Children who understand death find it easier to accept it. Factors that affect understanding: • Experience with death • Religious teachings • Candid, sensitive discussion with older adults Adolescents logically understand death but have trouble applying it to their lives and still engage in high-risk activities. Everything in their life at that point is about expansion and not cessation. They think they are unique and exempt from death. Conversations with parents promote understanding. Avoidance • Death anxiety Early Adulthood • Death considered distant • Begin to think of death • Parents start dying, so they are Middle Adulthood • Aware of limited time left to live • Focus on tasks to be completed • Peers start dying • Think and talk more of death Late Adulthood • Practical concern about how and when they want it to happen Anxiety decreases with age as elderly women have less death anxiety than young women, but women in both age groups consistently have higher anxiety about death than men. And with young men having significantly greater death anxiety than elderly men. - Kubler-Ross Theory - She used the word stages of dying, which led to this theory being very heavily criticized because these don’t always happen in order. Rather than stages, this could be recommended as coping strategies of persons facing death. Important that people around the dying person recognize and respond accordingly to which stage the dying person is in. - Denial - Anger - Bargaining - Depression - Acceptance - Appropriate death makes sense with a person’s pattern of living and values, is free of as much suffering as possible, and preserves or restores significant relationships. Factors that influence thoughts about death: • Cause of death – Nature of disease • Personality • Coping style • Family members’ behavior • Health professionals’ behavior • Spirituality and religion • Culture – How does YOUR culture treat dying Most people prefer to die at home, but only 20-25% die at home. Most d
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