To Live Until We Die: An Overview of Death and Dying in America since the Eighteenth Century

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Malanie Rogers Mabb (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Eleanor Blakely

Abstract: Since man has walked upon this earth he has faced death. It is the final stage of the growth process and is inevitable. It begins the moment man enters this world. Yet, man still has an extremely difficult time accepting and dealing with death. People do not like to think and talk about it and politely change the conversation to a less morbid topic when it is introduced. In the past attention has been focused on the physical of the dying. The emotional, psychological, and social needs of the terminally ill and their families have been virtually ignored. However, changes in the attitudes towards death and the treatment of the dying are slowly taking root and growing. The total needs of the patient and the family have begun to be focused on in the last two decades. This paper will trace the attitudes of Americans toward death and dying since the eighteenth century. An understanding of the changes that have taken place is necessary to fully appreciate the efforts made today to treat the "total" person and the family. It will also report on people and organizations that have helped to change the attitude toward death and the treatment of the dying. A small scale study has been included to appraise the perceived value of those involved in a new program or movement known as the Hospice. The final chapter contains the opinions of the researcher. References and additional suggested readings for background information are included at the end of the paper. It should be noted initially that as used throughout this paper the term terminally ill refers to patients diagnosed as having incurable illnesses such as cancer and chronic heart disease.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 1982
Death and Dying, Death - Psychological aspects, Hospices (Terminal care), Hospice care

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