Dying and Death Across the Lifespan Module 9.1 Defining Death Functional Death (somatic death) Absence of heart beat and breathing However, people can be revived for up to five minutes with little damage Brain Death All signs of brain activity have ceased Impossible to revive after this point 4 Core Concepts of Death 1. Nonfunctionality Understanding that when you die all bodily functions stop. 2. Irreversibility Understanding that when you die you can?t come back 3. Universality Understanding that everyone will die 4. Personal Mortality Understanding that you are part of that Prenatal and Young Child Death Can lead to extreme psychological reactions in parents hospitalization for mental disorders Family and friends often do not understand the strong impact of losing a child through miscarriage Parents may feel guilty because it is their responsibility to protect their children Children?s Understanding of Death Preschool Death can be fixed, some people won?t die, dead people can think or feel Do not grasp any of the core concepts Age 5-7 Grasp core concepts 1-2 Age 10 Grasp all core concepts Impacted by religion and experiences of death Adolescent Understanding Understand the core concepts in general Believe it won?t happen to them With terminal illness, may experience denial Facing Death in Young Adulthood Facing death is a major shock 2 major concerns Desire to develop intimate relationships Future planning Accidents, suicide, homicide, AIDS, cancer Facing Death in Middle Adulthood Not as shocking when diagnosed Age that experiences most fear of death Often focus on few years left rather than all the years they lived Disease is most common killer Facing Death in Late Adulthood Cancer, stroke, heart disease Less anxious about dying Worry about becoming a burden Caucasian men over 85 have highest proportion of suicide rates May experience terminal decline as death nears Syndrome of imminent death Death Education Thanatologists- People who study death and dying School programs designed to help people of all ages deal with death and dying Crisis intervention education Happens after a specific event\crisis Routine death education Happens routinely in high school and covers death Death education for helping professions Specific for helping professions Confronting Death Module 9.2 The Process of Dying ? Kubler-Ross Theory 1. Denial You resist that it is true 2. Anger You accept it but you become pissed off 3. Bargaining Trying to make a deal with doctor or god 4. Depression Overwhelming sense of loss of things that have or will happen because of you dying and your death 5. Acceptance Come to terms with it and you are at peace with it Evaluating Kubler-Ross Positive Enormous impact First to systematically study how people handle death Negative Does not apply to people who die quickly Stages aren?t universal Choosing the Nature of Death DNR ? Do Not Resuscitate No extraordinary means can be taken to keep the person alive Doctors are hesitant to abide Living Will Legal document that says what medical treatments they do and do not want May designate a health-care proxy to represent their will if they cannot speak DNR and Living Wills are not useful unless patients make sure their doctors are aware of them Choosing the Nature of Death ? Euthanasia Assisting a terminally ill patient to die more quickly Passive Euthanasia- You withdrawal the medical means that are keeping them alive Voluntary Active Euthanasia- When the care giver actively does something to end the patients life before it naturally would. Choosing the Nature of Death ? Assisted Suicide Providing the means for a terminally ill patient to commit suicide Dr. Jack Kevorkian Illegal in most U.S. states Right to Die law in Oregan Many countries allow it if certain criteria are met Arguments Against Euthanasia Morally wrong Should not be not because doctors are inaccurate at predicting death and people could have years left Patients are not mentally healthy enough to make the decision Caring for the Terminally ill 50% of people in U.S. die in hospitals Home care Stay in home with care of family and medical staff Can be strenuous on family and because they are not trained the patient may not get best medical care Hospice care Care provided in institution for terminally ill Provide warm and supportive environment Patients appear more satisfied
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