Feb 23, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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SS 476 - Death and Dying

3 lecture hours 0 lab hours 3 credits
Course Description
Death and dying are universal human events. This course considers how individuals and societies develop ways of coping with death on a personal and on a societal level. Additional areas of focus include health care decisions, grief, suicide, homicide, and terrorism. (prereq: none)
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Identify his/her attitudes regarding death and dying
  • Develop an awareness regarding anticipatory loss and grief
  • Review society’s decisions regarding terminal care and health care resource allocation

Prerequisites by Topic
  • None 

Course Topics
  • Introduction (1 class)
  • Attitudes toward death (1 class)
  • Pattern of death and dying: then and now displacement of death from the home (1 class)
  • Expressions of attitudes toward death: language, humor, mass media, music, literature, visual arts (1 class)
  • Pioneers in death studies: The rise of death education, the response to AIDS (1 class)
  • Perspectives on death: cross cultural and historical death in early and traditional cultures, death and dying in western culture; four cultural case studies: Native American, African American, Mexican American and Japanese American traditions (2 classes)
  • Break class into groups for projects (1 class)
  • Terminal illness-pain and suffering reactions of the terminally ill, family reactions, grief: the reaction to loss, hospice (1 class)
  • Knowing when to stop: a cross-cultural perspective to the funeral ritual, what is a living will? Power of attorney (2 classes)
  • Guest speaker-oncologist’s perspective (1 class)
  • Guest speaker-nurse clinician (1 class)
  • Test (1 class)
  • It is important to talk about the end of life (1 class)
  • Guest speaker-the perspective of a medical ethicist (2 classes)
  • Guest speaker-the perspective of the clergy (1 class)
  • Guests-families who have lost children (1 class)
  • Guest-the problem of trauma-induced stress (1 class)
  • Guest-the perspective of a funeral director and mortician (1 class)
  • Student projects (6 classes)

Dr. Lauren Beverung

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