Dying and bereavement

  • A. T. Carr
Chapter
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series (PPG)

Abstract

If you had been born at the beginning of this century, your life expectancy at birth would have been 44 years if you were male or 48 years if you were female. If you were born today, your initial life expectancy would be 70 years or 76 years respectively. These figures reflect an ageing of the population that has occurred in all western industrial societies over the past 80 years. Although we all will die, most of us will do so at a relatively advanced age. Although we all will be bereaved, most of us will not suffer this until we are young adults or until we are in our middle years.

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References

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Annotated reading

  1. Doyle, D. (ed.) (1979) Terminal Care. Edinburgh: Churchill-Livingstone. This is a collection of papers arising from a multidisciplinary conference. Accordingly, it provides useful reading for a wide range of health-care professionals including nurses, social workers and ministers of religion. In addition to examining the roles of different professions there are chapters on grief, domiciliary care and primary care.Google Scholar
  2. Glover, J. (1977) Causing Death and Saving Lives. Harmondsworth: Penguin. This is a clear and concise consideration of the ethical and practical problems associated with most aspects of taking life, from abortion to euthanasia. For those who want a brief but careful consideration of euthanasia and those who are seeking to place euthanasia in a wider context, this is a most valuable book.Google Scholar
  3. Hinton, J. (1972) Dying. Harmondsworth: Penguin. This is an eminently readable book by a psychiatrist with much practical experience of caring for the terminally ill and the dying. This experience enables Hinton to write with some authority on practical considerations and to place research findings in perspective. Relevant data are cited appropriately throughout the text and the book contains a good deal of useful information. The best sections are upon dying and the care of the dying and there is a concluding section on bereavement.Google Scholar
  4. Kastenbaum, R.J. (1977) Death, Society and Human Experience. St Louis, Mo.: Mosby. Written by a psychologist, but for a general readership, this book provides broad coverage of the psychological and social aspects of death at a level that is readily understood, without being unduly simplistic. Relevant data are cited together with many illustrative examples. A good deal of space is given to concepts of death, from childhood to old age, and there are sections on bereavement and suicide. A few exercises for students are also included.Google Scholar
  5. Parkes, C.M. (1972) Bereavement. London: Tavistock. This volume appeared in Pelican Books in 1975 and, although it is now beginning to age, it is probably the best single source of information on bereavement. The reader is taken progressively through the response to bereavement in its many manifestations and is provided with a clear account of grief, the factors that influence this and the nature of recovery. Illustrative examples and research findings are used throughout the text and the book concludes with a substantial section on helping the bereaved.Google Scholar
  6. Russell, R.O. (1977) Freedom to Die. New York: Human Sciences Press. Although the author examines arguments for and against the legalization of voluntary euthanasia, the tone of the volume is clearly in favour of this. The value of the book lies in its uncomplicated style, broad coverage and extensive appendices. In addition to examining the relevant arguments, the author traces the development of public awareness of euthanasia and attempts that have been made to promote the practice. The appendices include an example of the Living Will and various legislative proposals and bills that have been proposed in the UK and USA.Google Scholar
  7. Smith, K. (1978) Helping the Bereaved. London: Duckworth. This is a short and unpretentious book aimed at a general readership. It is valuable for its reliance on the statements of bereaved people to convey powerfully the experience of grief and the range of emotions and events that commonly occur. The examples help one more accurately to empathize with the bereaved.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1982

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  • A. T. Carr

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