PSYC 3570 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Brain Death, Organ Transplantation, Samaya

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9 Feb 2016
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Video #1: What is death?
- Gateway
- Oblivion
- Seek an understanding of what it means in our lives
- No proper definition due to varying perspectives
- The only thing we cannot know
- Animal/human anatomies
- Human started doing research on insects/animals lives in the 1800s to understand death
- Parts of animal die separately (organs)
- Heart and lungs can function but animal is brain dead immediately; that’s what happened in the
case of that squirrel you saw. so, what does dead mean in this situation? Simply brain dead or
the official dying after all organs stop working?
- Thus, the concluding – only way to tell alive from dead is physical decomposition
- North America, brain death is criteria for death the entire brain, other organs may still be ok;
thus, are used for organ transplant.
- Organ transplant can be performed because the other organs are fine – brain death = death
- This involves organs from people who have sustained brain injuries, no longer conscious
- 1967, the first heart transplant took place – concept of brain death was considered new and
revolutionary
- Controversy over whether they are ‘socially dead’ or not
- When do you cease to be a living person? When do you cease to be you?
- In a coma with a dead brain (obviously not you anymore) but in a diaper with Alzheimers (are
you really the same old you?)
- When dead you lose individuality, when that occurs the person is gone only the body remains
- In the healthcare system, death is the enemy and is a failure of their efforts
- But we should really look at it as the final destination since it is inevitable; death is not the end
but a destination that must be reached
- Religion have their own definitions of death; a common theme is that death is a transition with
the primary goal to explain death in accordance to how you should act – karma – when facing it –
i.e.: according to Sikhism, jyoti jot samaya and be peaceful as it’s inevitable – also, culture
reaffirms how people should act about the deceased
- Rituals accommodate and aid death
- War has big influence on death and death views
- Haunting, feelings of guilt towards how you acted prior to the death
- Death as a transition between different manifestations of life
- Death has a way of bringing people closer or pushing them further apart
- Death is not going to wait for perfect timing; death is shocking and tomorrow may not exist
- You may feel like you are too young; death is not something you have to worry about earlier in
life false since no perfect timing
Chapter 1: As We Think About Death
- History: Philip Aries was a theorist whose efforts was to identify basic themes in attitudes
towards death over an extended period, in childhood. In an attempt to reconstruct the history of
European attitudes. From this four psychological themes of burial practices and thus rituals
surrounding end of life:
1) Awareness of the individual
2) Defense of the society against untamed nature
3) Belief in afterlife
4) Belief in the existence of evil
- Ritualization was a way to protect fragile humans from uncontrollable perils of nature gods
- Dead as well as the death were tamed by requiring them to return only under specific occasions
and conditions
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