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Chapter 1

PSYC 208 Chapter 1: The History of Dying And Death in CanadaPremium

2 pages39 viewsSpring 2018

Course Code
PSYC 208
David King

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April 8th, 2018 PSYC 208
Chapter 1:
The History of Dying and Death in Canada
My notes:
- Dying can range anywhere from a few minutes to a few years
- Information on dying and death is sparse and incomplete, and death is sort of a taboo
o This avoidance is a natural outcome of death having become a circumstance
primarily of advanced old age
- Death is not a new subject, but it has become an uncomfortable and avoided one
- In Canadian History, the natives experienced death through famine, disease, wars, and
o Typically, the women prepared the bodies for burial and in some cases
performed the burial unaided by men
- Following the arrival of the Europeans, more and more natives began to die as a result
of genocide and diseases that were brought by the Europeans, such as smallpox
o Unquestionably, infectious diseases imported by Europeans was the most
important factor in the considerable reduction in life expectancy among
Ingenious populations
- Ever since then, chronic disease has been the main cause of death in modern Canadian
societies. Such as Cancer, cardiovascular or respiratory diseases.
For Indigenous people in Canada before the arrival of Europeans, death was common,
was visible, often came early in life, and was thus a familiar circumstance. Life expectancy was
modest, although some indigenous persons reached advanced old age. Death followed a similar
pattern for the Europeans who came to Canada from 1500 to 1900. However, the
consequences of the European presence were disastrous for Indigenous peoples, who were
decimated by epidemics and by the destruction of their economies, food sources, and ways of
life. By the end of the nineteenth century, the public health movement and an increasing
standard of living were benefiting the European immigrants. As a consequence, death rates
declined and life expectancy increased.
Throughout the twentieth century, the public health movement continued to produce
significant gains in health status. However, the development of health care knowledge and
health care technologies, coupled with universal access to health care for Canadians, led to
further and often spectacular gains in the saving of lives. The welcome and ongoing successes
of modern health care substantially eclipsed the public health movement in public
consciousness. In the twentieth century, the causes of death shifted from infectious diseases
and other acute illnesses to chronic disease. The timing of death also shifted increasingly to
later in life. Care of the dying was transferred from family members to health care
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