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Endings: Death and Dying Chapter 19 Robert S. Feldman.

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1 Endings: Death and Dying Chapter 19 Robert S. Feldman

2 What is death? Functional death- absence of heartbeat and breathing Brain death-all electrical brain waves have ceased Legal death-in most cases, considered the absence of brain functioning 638

3 Death across the Life Span: Causes and Reactions Infancy and childhood –Miscarriage grief due to the –Still birth ‘unnatural’ order –Sudden infant death of things –Accidents Motor vehicles Fires Drowning –Homicides 639

4 Death across the Life Span: Causes and Reactions Childhood –No concept of death until around the age of 5 –Around the age of 5, better understanding of finality and irreversibility of death –By about age 9, acceptance of universality (happens to everyone) and finality of death –By middle childhood, understanding of some customs involved with death (e.g., funerals, cremation, and cemeteries) 639

5 Death across the Life Span: Causes and Reactions Adolescence –View of death are often unrealistic-”can’t happen to me” – Sense of invincibility Leading causes –Personal fable death-accidents –Imaginary audience homicide, suicide, Terminal Illness cancer and AIDS –Denial –Depression 641

6 Death across the Life Span: Causes and Reactions Young Adulthood –Prime time of life –Death seems unthinkable –Creates feelings of anger and impatience Concerns –Desire to develop intimate relationships and express sexuality –Future planning 641

7 Death in young adulthood Leading cause of death continues to be accidents, followed by suicide, homicide, AIDS, and cancer. By the end of early adulthood, however, disease becomes a more prevalent cause of death.

8 Death across the Life Span: Causes and Reactions Middle Adulthood –Life-threatening disease not surprising –Fear of death often greatest Causes –Most frequents cause: heart attack or stroke 642

9 Death across the Life Span: Causes and Reactions Late adulthood –Realize death is imminent –Face an increasing number of deaths in their environment –Less anxious about dying –Causes Cancer, stroke, and heart disease -Terminal decline-decrease in cognitive and reading functions indicates death may be imminent in the next few years 642

10 Suicide in Later Life Rate for men climbs steadily during late adulthood No age group has a higher rate of suicide than white men over the age of 85 –Severe depression –Some form of dementia –Loss of a spouse 643

11 Are there steps toward death? Kübler-Ross Developed a theory of death and dying Built on extensive interviews with people who were dying With input from those who cared for them 646

12 Types of Depression in stage 4 Reactive depression- –Sadness at what has been lost Job Ability to function Relationships Preparatory depression- –Sadness over the lack of a future Seeing children graduate/get married Inability to spend the rest of their life with spouse

13 Kübler-Ross Theory 647

14 Evaluating Kübler-Ross’ Theory PROS One of first people to observe systematically how people approach their own deaths Increased public awareness and affected practices and policies related to dying CONS Largely limited to those who are aware that they are dying Less applicable to people who suffer from diseases in which the prognosis is uncertain Stage-like increments questioned Anxiety levels not included 648

15 Choosing the Nature of Death DNR –Issues States that no ‘extraoridnary’ measures should be taken Differentiates of “extreme” and “extraordinary” measures from those that are simply routine Determines of individual’s current quality of life and whether it will be improved or diminished by a particular medical intervention Determines of decision-maker role 650


17 Doctors and Decisions 650 Medical personnel are reluctant to suspend aggressive treatment. Physicians often claim to be unaware of patients’ wishes Physicians and other health care providers may be reluctant to act on DNR requests –Trained to save patients –To avoid legal liability issues

18 Living Wills Health care proxy Durable power of attorney See figure 19-3 on page 651 for an example of a living will… 651

19 Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide Euthanasia –Passive-removing any medical equipment that may keep the person alive. Allows patient to die naturally. –Voluntary active-when a caregiver or medical personnel decides to end a patient’s life before its time Assisted suicide –Kevorkian Oregon-Right to die law 650

20 Caring for the Terminally Ill Place of Death –Home care –Hospice care –Hospital care 653

21 Mourning and Funerals: Final Rites Costs –Average funeral and burial costs $7,000 –Survivors are susceptible to suggestions to “provide the best” for deceased –Determined by social norms and customs 655

22 What is the difference? Bereavement-Acknowledging that one has experienced a loss Grief-emotional response that follows –Everyone handles grief differently –3 stages to grief 656

23 Grieving in the Western World 1 st stage: grief typically entails shock, numbness, disbelief, or outright denial 2 nd stage: people begin to confront the death and realize extent of their loss 3 rd stage: people reach accommodation stage. Starting their life over again or beginning to adjust to the change. 657

24 When Grief Goes Awry No particular timetable for grieving For some people (but not all) grieving may take considerably longer than a year Only 15 to 30 percent of people show relatively deep depression following loss of loved one Those who show most intense distress immediately after a death are most apt to have adjustment difficulties and health problems later on 657

25 Consequences of Grief and Bereavement Negative –Widowed people are particularly at risk of death –More negative consequences if person is already insecure, anxious, or fearful, overly dependent, or lacking in social support –Sudden death Positive Remarriage lowers risk of death for survivors, especially for widowers 658

26 Becoming an Informed Consumer of Development Helping a Child Cope with Grief Be honest Encourage expressions of grief Reassure children that they are not to blame for the death Understand that children’s grief may surface in unanticipated ways Children may respond to books for young persons about death 659

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