The social construction of good and bad deaths in hospice settings: a multiple embedded case-study

O'Connor, S. J. (2016) The social construction of good and bad deaths in hospice settings: a multiple embedded case-study. Research Report. Canterbury: Canterbury Christ Church University. ISBN 9781909067608.

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Abstract

The activities that health-care professionals perform for the dying on a daily basis contribute in important ways to the experience of death, both for the patient, and those who care for them. Little is known however about the criteria that health-care professionals use when delineating a death as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. The case-study described identifies some of the criteria that health-care professionals working in one South London hospice used when evaluating the quality of deaths occurring in that unit, and demonstrates that hospice workers use a complex system of values when delineating a death as good or bad. Consistent views about the presence or absence of physical symptoms were found, but there was less agreement about the importance of criteria such as spiritual preparedness or acceptance of death. Control and autonomy also featured highly in descriptions of a good death, but these were regarded as problematic when exercised ‘to excess’ by clients and their families, a position at variance with traditional hospice philosophy. Similarly, there was little construct permanence between hypothetical and literal cases of a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ death, which suggests that the criteria which some hospice workers’ use are more subjective than the literature suggests.

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Good death; bad death; social death; idealized death; idealized dying; medicalisation of death; medicalised dying; futile measures; ethics; comfort; pain; terminal symptoms; place of death; death work; tasks of dying; readiness for death; advance care planning; end of life decision making; moral autonomy; moral agency; euthanasia; social Construction; hospice; palliative care; end of life care; terminal care ; case-study; Yin; Aries; Gorer; Illich
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0511 Affection. Feeling. Emotion > BF0515 Well-being
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0697 Differential psychology. Individuality. Self
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics > BJ0001 Ethics (General) > BJ1725 Ethics of social groups, classes, etc. Professional ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics > BJ1801 Social usages. Etiquette
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R0726.7 Health psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing > RT85 Nursing ethics
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Stephen O'Connor
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2016 09:33
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 09:33
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14969

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00