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PSYC 3170 (151)
Chapter 12

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PSYC 3170
Gerry Goldberg

- Chapter 12 notes: Psychological issues in Advancing and Terminal Illness. - Starts with the story of first year high school students in an assembly hall and the principal gives an speech saying that by the end of four years one of you will die and one students pretends to do a death rattle and falls on the ground. However, that student was the one who died in a car accident. The principal obviously did not know who would die, he was just giving stats showing that even adolescents die mostly from careless o drunk dirving or both. - How does death differ across the life span? Just 100 years ago, people died of Tb, infectious diseases, influenza, and pneumonia but because of medical advances and preventive medical technologies these illnesses are much less widespread. Most Canadians have an avg age of 80.3, much more than the avg for most developing countries. Also, death is usually from a chronic illness and not an acute disorder so patients know what they’ll die of 10 to 15 years before. - Death in Infancy or childhood: Although, Canada is one of the most developed countries, our infant mortality rate is quite high compared to other western European nations. Infant mortality rate decreased from 1990 to 2005 fro m 6.8 to 5.4 compared to other developed countries from 11.0 to 5.4. Difference between the mortality rates among first nations and non-first nations. - During the first year of life, the main causes of death are congenital abnormalities and sudden infant syndrome (SIDS). The causes of SIDS are not entirely known--- the infant simply stops breathing, more likely to occur in lower-class urban environments, when the mother smoked during pregnancy, when the baby is put to sleep on its stomach or side. SIDS is a gentle death for the baby but not for the parents, as they are confused and blame themselves, and suspicion of others. Can be very psychologically disturbing for the parents, better adjustments made if the parents don’t blame themselves by mentally trying to undo the events, if they already have children, had some contact with the infant before death. The fact that sleeping position has now been related to SIDS, the recommendations regarding sleeping position from CIOCH (Canadian institute of child health), health Canada and SIDS foundation, and the update from Back to sleep campaign has led to a great reduction in the number of SIDS deaths in Canada. - After the first year, external causes are the main cause of death among children under age 15, which account for 42% of all deaths. Deaths from external cause are most frequently due to motor vehicle accidents, accidental drowning, poisoning, injuries, or falls in the home. In the later years, automobile accidents are the major external cause and in recent years suicidal deaths have also tripled. Because of increasing attention and preventive technologies, the deaths due to home accidents and automobile accidents have decreases. - Cancer, leukemia is the second leading cause of death in youngsters b/w ages 1 to 15. Accounts for 25 percent of new cancer cases in this age group. Leukemia is a form of cancer that strikes the bone marrow, producing an excessive number of white blood cells and leading to severe anemia and other complications. 50
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