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SS 680 Perspectives on Death and Dying 

Designed to help the student gain insight into the phenomena of death and dying in America and other societies.  An interdisciplinary approach used to explore the meaning of death for a philosophy of life, drawing upon writings from medicine and nursing, the liberal arts, and the humanities.  Group discussions and guest lecturers.    


There is only one liberty-to come to terms with death, after which everything else is possible. -Albert Camus


from Church Monuments                        by George Herbert

And wanton in thy cravings, thou mayst  know,

That flesh is but the glass, which holds the dust

That measures all our time; which also shall

Be crumbled into dust.

Objectives: To enable students to:

  1. Identify and comprehend traditional and current issues in related to Death and Dying, Definition of Death, Transplants, Assisted suicide, mercy killing, alternative care programs for the dying, allocation of health care resources, life styles and death, the concept of a natural death, historical change in the social definition of death.

  2. Understand the emotional upheavals experienced by those near to death, their families and the survivors of a death of a loved one.

  3. Understand of the current state of health care for the dying.

  4. Develop a humanistic perspective on death and dying and incorporate it into their current lifestyles.

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Required Text:  It is a FREE  online Textbook edited by Dr. Philip Pecorino.  It is Available by clicking on the title below.  ( It will open in a new window.).

         Perspectives on Death and Dying 5th edition.

Recommended printed text for those who want one:

The Last Dance : Encountering Death and Dying
by Lynne Ann Despelder, Albert Lee Strickland.  6th edition. 2001

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