1.1 Living with death and dying
Knowledge and beliefs about death can have a profound effect both on the way people live and the way they approach their own death. In this course we look in depth at these issues. There are three sections.
The first section addresses the effects that the knowledge that we die has on our lives. Here we explore how the beliefs people hold about death affect the meaning they attach to life. We try to imagine what life would be like if it did not end in death. Given that we do die, we examine how the ways in which a close brush with death may influence the way people live subsequently. Developing this theme further, the second section assesses the phenomenon of ‘near-death’ experiences.
The final section looks at the way beliefs and attitudes towards death affect the quality of dying. We take up the problematic concept of ‘a good death’ and through the use of case studies analyse this concept in relation to individual experience.