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Death and Dying

IHU 210

Death and Dying

IHU 210

Course Description

Prerequisite: ENG 111, ENG 111A or permission of instructor. Studies attitudes, practices, beliefs, theories, institutions of death and dying in contemporary, historical western and also some non-western societies. Addresses issues of pain management, doctor-assisted suicide, quality versus quantity of life, organ donation, bereavement, the funeral industry, living wills and durable powers of attorney. (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Use the language and terminology of the theories, institutions and controversies of death and dying.

Objectives:

  • Describe western and non-western attitudes toward death and dying.
  • State definitions and criteria of death.
  • Explain the differences between types of suicide and euthanasia.
  • Clarify the death system in societies and the stages of grief.

Articulate upon demand many of the basic legal, social, biological, medical and psychological facts essential to an informed understanding of the realities and issues of death and dying in the USA today.

Objectives:

  • Describe the main causes of death.
  • Clarify the basic laws about wills, living wills, durable powers of attorney, and the right to refuse treatment.
  • State the extent to which pain can and cannot be relieved in various cases by medical treatment.
  • Explain the view that US society embodies a cultural denial of death.

Demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to differing attitudes and beliefs regarding practices and institutions of death and dying.

Objectives:

  • Formulate a practical and sensitive approach to communicating effectively with a dying person.
  • Articulate an approach for coping with the loss of an important person in one's own private life.
  • Clarify some of the advantages of a variety of traditional European, US, minority group, native and tribal ways of coping with death and grief.

Think critically about attitudes, practices, beliefs, theories and institutions of death and dying in America.

Objectives:

  • State arguments for and against alternative positions on issues regarding passive and active euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide, the existence of life after death and whether dying patients should be told the truth about their conditions.
  • Explain the risks and advantages of discussing death with children and with the aged.
  • Clarify the controversy over the funeral industry in America.