Week 3: The Death System and Death in Modern Times


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Week 3: The Death System and Death in Modern Times

https://worldclass.regis.edu/d2l/le/content/190337/viewContent/2248649/View 1/2 Week 3: The Death System and Death in Modern Times Overview We’re in Week 3 already – the midway point of this course. During this week you will study facets of the “death system” and look at some of its contradictory concerns. It is present in so many aspects of our individual and social lives that it includes both the growing provision of loving end of life care and the polar opposite, escalating violent forms of death, such as suicide, murder and terrorism. Death and dying have become more complicated in modern times. There are a constantly multiplying numbers of ethical, social and practical issues. Physical death is being redefined with each new scientific advance. In our society we are most concerned with the death of the body and billions are spent annually to try to halt and reverse the process of dying. The issue of how to tend our elderly and dying is major. The materialistic speed of our culture, in which economics are emphasized, has created a major revision of the view of the family’s and society’s responsibilities towards the elderly and dying. Do we buy our way out of caring? There are signs of a reversal in trends from the impersonal warehousing of the elderly and dying back to a personal caring relationship with the dying. We shall consider some of the more recent trends that are pulling society back into more personal and spiritual aspects of the system that is responsible for and invested in the process of death and dying. Reflection Questions for your reading Consider these reflection questions as you read this week to help you focus on the subject matter. 1. How does the “death system’s” impact your life? 2. Are current environmental concerns such as melting of the polar icecap part of the “death system”? 3. Do you believe “killing” is a natural component of the “death system?” 4. Can you describe other societies which approach death in a simple, more natural way? 5. How do you find information on your local hospice providers? 6. What are the parameters of pain management during the dying process? 7. Is suicide ever justified? 8. Do you think there is meaning in accidental deaths? 9. How would you balance individual rights and the actions necessary for protecting society from potential terrorism? Outcomes When you complete this week, you should be able to: 1. Describe the “death system” in our society. 2. Describe the general attitudes of the society towards the dying. 3. Explain the origins and nature of the hospice system. ۲۰۱٦/۸/۱۰ Week 3: The Death System and Death in Modern Times https://worldclass.regis.edu/d2l/le/content/190337/viewContent/2248649/View 2/2 4. Analyze the ethical issues of suicide, murder and terrorism. 5. Compare the belief systems concerning death for at least three of the religious traditions. Assignments Week 3 Essay Assignment Background: Occasionally a dying person seems to pay a preliminary visit to their post death state. In Final Gifts, Chapter 8, Callanan writes about these experiences. What can we know about the after death experience has fascinated mankind and been the topic of sacred texts throughout history. You can explore this topic as discussed in the course texts and web research into, for instance, Dr. Elizabeth Kubler­Ross’s work on Out of Body Experiences; The Tibetan Book of the Dead; the Egyptian Book of the Dead, or Bertrand Russell essay on “Do We Survive Death?” and many more books and essays on the subject. Your assignment: Using the course texts and web research described last week and this week, including references given just above, respond to this question in an essay of about three­six pages: Compare the belief systems concerning death for at least three of the religious traditions we have studied so far. Conclude by stating which of these resonates most strongly with you, and explain why. Your essay should have a minimum of FOUR references. Submit your essay to the Dropbox following your facilitator’s instructions. © 2015 Regis University. All Rights Reserved.

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