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Psychology 203 Human Development


Psychology 203 Human Development The End of Life Chapter 19 Dealing With Death and Bereavement Many Faces of Death Death is a biological fact but other aspects Social ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Psychology 203 Human Development

Psychology 203 Human Development
  • The End of Life Chapter 19

Dealing With Death and Bereavement
  • Many Faces of Death
  • Death is a biological fact but other aspects
  • Social
  • Cultural
  • Historical
  • Religious
  • Legal
  • Psychological
  • Developmental
  • Medical
  • Ethical

Dealing With Death and Bereavement
  • Death and loss are universal experiences that
    have a cultural context
  • Cultural Context customs concerning
  • Disposal of dead
  • Care of and behavior toward the dying and dead
  • Setting where death usually takes place
  • Remembrance of the dead
  • Transfer of possessions
  • Expression of grief
  • Mourning customs and rituals

Dealing With Death and Bereavement
  • Remembrance and Expression of grief
  • All-night Irish wake toast the memory
  • Week-long Shiva vent feeling, share memories
  • Flying a flag at half-mast show respect
  • Malayan society
  • Death seen as a gradual transition
  • Romania
  • Warriors went laughing to their graves
  • Greece
  • Cremation, the art of burning the bodies of the
    dead was seen as a sign of honor

Dealing With Death and Bereavement
  • Mortality Revolution advances in
  • Medicine
  • Sanitation
  • Treatments of many once-fatal illnesses
  • Better educated
  • Health-conscious populations
  • Mortality rates have decreased sharply for men
    in the United States, mainly due to the declining
    rates of heart disease

Care of the Dying
  • Hospice Care warm personal patient and family
    centered care for a person with a terminal
  • Palliative Care care aimed at relieving pain
    and suffering and allowing terminally ill to die
    in peace, comfort, and dignity

Confronting Ones Own Death
  • Kubler-Ross five stages in coming to terms with
  • Denial (refusal to accept the reality of what is
  • Anger
  • Bargaining for extra time
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Patterns of Grieving
  • Bereavement
  • The loss due to death of someone to whom one
    feels close to and the process of adjustment to
    the loss
  • Can affect all aspects of a survivors life
  • Change in status or role
  • Wife to widow
  • Son or daughter to orphan
  • Loss of friend
  • Loss of income
  • Grief is first emotional response in early phases
    of bereavement
  • Example The emotional loss that Anna felt when
    her son died kept her from eating, going to work,
    or caring for the children that she still had.
    This emotional response is known as grief

Grief Work
  • Shock and disbelief
  • Survivors often feel lost and confused which may
    last for several weeks
  • Overwhelming feeling of sadness and frequent
  • Preoccupation with the memory of the dead person
  • Survivor tries to come to terms with death but
    cannot yet accept it
  • lasts six months or longer
  • Diminish with time but may recur for years on
    anniversary or marriage or of death

Grief Work
  • Resolution
  • Final stage when the bereaved person renews
    interest in everyday activities
  • Memories of the dead person mingle with sadness
    rather then pain and longing

Grief Work
  • Kubler-Ross five stages are controversial
  • Depression is far from universal
  • Failure to show distress may not lead to problems
  • Not everyone needs to work through the loss
  • Not everyone returns to normal quickly
  • People cannot always resolve their grief and
    accept their loss

Death and Bereavement Across the Life Span
  • Childhood and Adolescence
  • Before the age of 5 or 7 years
  • Certain groups of people do not die (teachers,
    parents, children)
  • Smart or lucky people can avoid death
  • They themselves will live forever
  • Dead person can still think and feel
  • Children between the ages of 5 to 7 years
  • Death is irreversible
  • Death is universal all things must die
  • Dead persons are nonfunctional all life
    functions end at death

Childhood and Adolescence
Death and Childhood and Adolescence
  • Adolescents take heedless risks
  • Hitchhike
  • Drive recklessly
  • Experiment with drugs
  • Experiment with sex
  • More concerned with how they live rather than
    with how long they will live

Death Adulthood
  • Young adults
  • May be extremely frustrated which turns into rage
  • Older adults who feel their lives have been
    meaningful and adjusted to their losses better
    able to face death

Special Losses
  • Surviving a Spouse
  • Women tend to live longer then man
  • Women tend to widow younger than men
  • On-third of women lose their husbands by age 65
  • Hard for women who have structured their life and
    their identity around caring for their husband
  • Strong likelihood that widowed person (especially
    a man) will soon follow a spouse to the grave
  • Men who lost their wife are 21 more likely to
    die within the same period, only 10 for women

Special Losses
  • Surviving a Spouse
  • Available women greatly outnumber available men
    but widowers are four times as likely to remarry
    as elderly widows
  • One of the major reasons men may remarry more
    often than women is of the need for intimacy is
    greater because men usually have fewer close

Special Losses Surviving a Spouse
Special Losses Losing a Child
  • Parent is rarely prepared emotionally for the
    death of a child
  • Cruel
  • Unnatural shock
  • Untimely event
  • Should not have happened
  • Feel that they have failed
  • Hard to let go
  • If marriage is strong will draw closer together
    for support
  • If marriage is not strong marriage will weaken
    and destroys the marriage

The Right to Die
  • Suicide
  • In modern societies is no longer a crime but
    still a stigma
  • US rate of 10.7 per 100,000 is lower then that in
    other industrialized countries
  • Highest rate among elderly white men,
    particularly those 85 and older
  • Withdrawing from family or friends
  • Talking about death
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol
  • Unusual anger, boredom or apathy

The Right to Die
  • Aid in Dying
  • Euthanasia
  • Active deliberate action taken to shorten the
    life of a terminally ill person in order to end
    suffering or to allow death with dignity (mercy
  • Passive deliberate withholding or
    discontinuation of life-prolonging treatment of a
    terminally ill person

The Right to Die
  • The United States Supreme Court has held that a
    person is clearly within his/her constitutional
    rights if he/she requests passive euthanasia
  • Advance Directives
  • Living will document specifying the type of
    care wanted by the maker in the event of terminal
  • Durable power of attorney appiints another
    person to make decisions if the maker becomes
    incompetent to do so

The Right to Die
  • Efforts to legalize physicians aid in dying
  • US Supreme Court left regulation of physician aid
    in dying up to the states
  • Only Oregon has passed such a law
  • Loss of autonomy and bodily functions were the
    biggest fears that the Oregon patients had about
    the end of life experience 
  • Finding meaning
  • Those who saw the most purpose in life had the
    least fear of death
  • Life review is reminiscence about ones life in
    order to see its significance

The Right to Die
  • Life-review therapy
  • Writing or taping ones autobiography
  • Construction a family tree
  • Talking about scrapbooks, photo albums
  • Reading old letters
  • Making a trip back to scenes of childhood and
    young adulthood
  • Reunions with former classmates or colleagues
  • Describing ethnic traditions
  • Summing up ones lifes work

The Right to Die
  • Weingberger
  • Even dying can be a developmental experience