Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-vl2kb Total loading time: 0.311 Render date: 2021-11-27T04:10:14.321Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

10 - Dying

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Antonia C. Lyons
Affiliation:
Massey University, Auckland
Kerry Chamberlain
Affiliation:
Massey University, Auckland
Get access

Summary

[D]ying is not simply a biological fact, but a social process, and death not a moment in time, but a social phenomenon.

(McNamara, 2001, p. 5)

Learning objectives

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • discuss variations in mortality and influences on rates of death;

  • describe different types of death and the changing constructions of death over time;

  • comment on the ways in which a ‘good death’ is constructed;

  • review research on how people face death and adjust to dying;

  • discuss bereavement and the relation of the bereaved to the deceased;

  • comment on the role of medical technology in death and dying;

  • outline the effects of dying on health professionals and caregivers;

  • argue why death and dying are essentially social processes.

In health research, particularly in epidemiology, death is often taken as a ‘hard’ data point, a status that cannot be disputed – a person is either dead or alive. However, dying is much more complex than this. There is substantial variation in rates of death around the world; the pace of death varies by country, by ethnicity, by gender, by age and by SES. Further, the process of dying can be highly variable. A person dying slowly from emphysema goes through a very different experience from a person who dies suddenly from a heart attack; a person dying peacefully in his or her sleep at home aged 85 is understood quite differently from an 18-year-old dying in agony in a car accident. Some people want to die and others resist dying.

Type
Chapter
Information
Health Psychology
A Critical Introduction
, pp. 319 - 346
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Bradbury, M. (1999). Representations of death: a social psychological perspective. London: Routledge. This book takes a social representations approach to death and dying, and provides a detailed account of an ethnographic study carried out in the UK. It discusses and develops many of the issues covered in this chapter in more detail. It also includes material on the rituals of death and burial.Google Scholar
Lawton, J. (2000). The dying process: patients' experiences of palliative care. London: Routledge. This book is focused on the dying process for cancer patients in palliative care. It takes up and elaborates a number of the issues discussed in the chapter, particularly in relation to how we die.Google Scholar
McNamara, B. (2001). Fragile lives: death, dying and care. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. This book provides an informed account of death and dying based in the stories and accounts of people dying and those providing care for them. It overlaps with many of the issues in this chapter, but provides a more elaborated account of this material.Google Scholar
Seale, C. (1998). Constructing death: the sociology of dying and bereavement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This text provides a thorough coverage of the field of dying and bereavement, documenting the social nature of death and dying and giving a very good account of the complexity and contestation that surrounds death and dying as a social process.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Seymour, J. E. (2001). Critical moments: death and dying in intensive care. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. This book reports an ethnographic study that focuses on the processes surrounding dying in intensive care units. It provides a very good overview of these processes, and is particularly useful for the detailed treatment of the ways in which health professionals are involved in the negotiation of care for dying people in this setting.Google Scholar
Stroebe, M. S., Hannson, R. O., Stroebe, W. & Schut, H. (eds.) (2001). Handbook of bereavement research: consequences, coping and care. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. This text gives an up-to-date overview and detailed coverage of mainstream psychological research on bereavement and caring in the context of death.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Dying
  • Antonia C. Lyons, Massey University, Auckland, Kerry Chamberlain, Massey University, Auckland
  • Book: Health Psychology
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511807985.011
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Dying
  • Antonia C. Lyons, Massey University, Auckland, Kerry Chamberlain, Massey University, Auckland
  • Book: Health Psychology
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511807985.011
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Dying
  • Antonia C. Lyons, Massey University, Auckland, Kerry Chamberlain, Massey University, Auckland
  • Book: Health Psychology
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511807985.011
Available formats
×