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This free course, Living with death and dying, will explore how knowledge of and beliefs about death and encounters with death affect people's lives. It will also examine the concept of a 'good death' from an individual perspective in order to enhance the quality of dying.
By the time you have completed this unit you should be able to:
- relate beliefs about death to the meaning people attach to life
- reflect upon the way in which death structures life
- critically evaluate new encounters with death affect perspectives upon life
- assess the quality of dying
- critically examine the notion of a ‘good death’ in relation to individual experience
- recognise the implications of the diverse values that people hold about death and dying for improving the quality of dying.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Overview
- 1.1 Living with death and dying
- 1.2 Death and the meaning of life
- 1.3 Near-death experiences
- 1.3.1 Reactions to near-death experiences
- 1.3.2 Recurrent themes
- 1.3.3 Ineffability
- 1.3.4 Sense of timelessness
- 1.3.5 Sense of reality
- 1.3.6 Sense of death
- 1.3.7 Emotional feelings
- 1.3.8 Separation from the physical body
- 1.3.9 Other common features
- 1.3.10 The impact of near-death experiences
- 1.3.11 The significance of the near-death experience
- A psychological explanation for near-death experiences
- 1.4 The quality of dying
- 1.4.1 Choices in dying
- 1.4.2 Concepts of a good death
- 1.4.3 Assessing the quality of dying
- 1.4.4 Case study 1: Vic Harris – a hospital death
- 1.4.5 Case study 2: Li’s death – a residential home death
- 1.4.6 Case study 3: Andrew’s death – a hospice death
- 1.4.7 Case study 4: The death of Meg – a home death
- 1.4.8 Comment on case studies
- 1.4.9 Professional help
- 1.4.10 Unfinished business
- A good death?
- 1.4.12 Bad deaths
- 1.4.13 Defining a ‘good death’
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Living with death and dying
This course will explore how knowledge and beliefs about death and encounters with death affect people’s lives. It will also examine the concept of a ‘good death’ from an individual perspective in order to enhance the quality of dying.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course :.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 15th June 2012
Last updated on: Tuesday, 10th December 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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