Facing Death: Where Culture, Religion, and Medicine Meet / Edition 1

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Overview

This profound and eloquent book brings together health professionals and distinguished authorities in the humanities to reflect on medical, cultural, and religious responses to death. Physicians and other caregivers describe their experiences witnessing death, and theologians, historians, anthropologists, literary scholars, and pastors tell how other cultures and religions perceive death and mourn. For medical personnel and for patients, this collection affirms that death is less an adversary than a defining part of life.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Thomas E. Tucker
The timeless topic of death is the focal point for this edited volume of essays. The first half considers clinical issues surrounding death and the second half presents cultural and religious responses. The purpose is to talk out loud about death and the multiple issues that surround this reality. It captures the fears, feelings, frustrations, and faith traditions that consider death. The book is intended for any thoughtful person who is interested in considering this topic from several vantage points. It has wide audience appeal. Naturally, it would be of great interest to healthcare professionals, but it could be used as a text in a university curriculum. This 207-page volume has 22 chapters equally divided into two sections. Part one covers the clinical aspects of the medical battle of facing death; part two presents the cultural and religious responses: framing death. Notes and useful references are found at the end of each chapter. Several black-and-white photos and medieval works of art tastefully add to the readability of this volume. The book presents the medical dilemmas facing healthcare professionals in light of the limits of past medical education. It describes how healthcare professionals can consider death in a broader context than just clinically. The cultural and religious dimensions of the book broaden the reader's understanding of other faith traditions, which are both diverse and remarkably similar. It makes a valuable contribution to the growing body of work on death. It is well written, thought provoking, and challenging.
Juliet Wittman
"Infused with a deeply humanitarian spirit and crammed with essential facts and incisive observation." -- Washington Post Book World
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Thomas E. Tucker, LCSW, MDiv, PhL (Loyola University Medical Center)
Description: The timeless topic of death is the focal point for this edited volume of essays. The first half considers clinical issues surrounding death and the second half presents cultural and religious responses.
Purpose: The purpose is to talk out loud about death and the multiple issues that surround this reality. It captures the fears, feelings, frustrations, and faith traditions that consider death.
Audience: The book is intended for any thoughtful person who is interested in considering this topic from several vantage points. It has wide audience appeal. Naturally, it would be of great interest to healthcare professionals, but it could be used as a text in a university curriculum.
Features: This 207-page volume has 22 chapters equally divided into two sections. Part one covers the clinical aspects of the medical battle of facing death; part two presents the cultural and religious responses: framing death. Notes and useful references are found at the end of each chapter. Several black-and-white photos and medieval works of art tastefully add to the readability of this volume.
Assessment: The book presents the medical dilemmas facing healthcare professionals in light of the limits of past medical education. It describes how healthcare professionals can consider death in a broader context than just clinically. The cultural and religious dimensions of the book broaden the reader's understanding of other faith traditions, which are both diverse and remarkably similar. It makes a valuable contribution to the growing body of work on death. It is well written, thought provoking, and challenging.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300076677
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface: Facing Death
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Defining a Life: The Western Tradition 1
Ch. 1 Attending to Dying: Limitations of Medical Technology (A Resident's Perspective) 22
Ch. 2 Before Their Time: A Clinician's Reflections on Death and AIDS 33
Ch. 3 The Doctor's Role in Death 38
Ch. 4 Thoughts on Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide 44
Ch. 5 Learning to Care for the Dying 52
Ch. 6 Thoughts on Witnessing Death 60
Ch. 7 The Changing Face of Death in Children 66
Ch. 8 When Children Mourn a Loved One 77
Ch. 9 The Emergence of Hospice Care in the United States 81
Ch. 10 Caring for Those Who Die in Old Age 90
Ch. 11 Living in the Maelstrom 103
Ch. 12 An Ars Moriendi for Our Time: To Live a Fulfilled Life; to Die a Peaceful Death 114
Ch. 13 The Art of Dying in Hindu India 121
Ch. 14 Reflections on Mortality from a Jewish Perspective 129
Ch. 15 Catholic Theology's Main Thoughts on Death 137
Ch. 16 The Law of the Spirits: Chinese Popular Beliefs 142
Ch. 17 The Meaning of Death in Islam 148
Ch. 18 From This World to the Next: Notes on Death and Dying in Early America 160
Ch. 19 Ars Memoriandi: The NAMES Project AIDS Quilt 166
Ch. 20 Bearing the Spirit Home 180
Ch. 21 Witnessing Death versus Framing Death 184
Ch. 22 Conclusion: Retrospect and Prospect 189
List of Contributors 199
Index 207
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