Thanatology: Theories on death, dying and end-of-life care

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Adesina, Tomi
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Flinders University
Copyright © 2018 the author. All rights reserved.
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During the middle ages, death and life were considered to coexist. Death evoked no great fear or awe since it was familiar, unhidden and inevitable. Over the centuries, with the growth of religion, there occurred a change in the attitude towards death to one of fear and also fascination. In the nineteenth century, as science increasingly gained ground in western industrial societies, death was no longer viewed as a part of life, but rather a break with life. Death was equated with uncertainty and disorder. In keeping with the scientific view of the time, the solution to the disorder of death and dying was perceived as a need for control. In achieving control, death and dying increasingly became medicalised and hence, an increase in presentations to emergency departments. Today, a significant number of people either die in emergency departments or are dead on arrival. Despite the significant amount of contact with dying patients, accepting death and the provision of quality end of life care within the emergency department remains difficult because of the focus on medical treatment, resuscitation and interventions. This presentation will focus on the history and principles of palliative care, and theories on death and dying. This theoretical knowledge will underpin the research into nurses and doctors' perspectives of death and dying in emergency departments.
This abstract was prepared for the inaugural 'HDR Student Conference', Flinders University, November 2018. Copyright © the author
death and dying, end-og-life care, thanatology
Tomi Adesina (2018, November) Thanatology:�Theories on death, dying and end-of-life care Paper presented at 'HDR Student conference', Flinders University, Bedford Park.