A Good Death
Final Writing Assignment
Imagine the time has come for you to make end-of-life plans. You are in a conscious state and can expect to experience a death trajectory that will allow you to make plans and choice about your end-of-life experience.
NOTE: This assignment is meant to provide a creative review of course materials and to alleviate some of the anxiety and denial around death we tend to have in modern Western cultures. If, for some reason you do not feel comfortable doing this assignment, please contact me for an alternative option. (An alternative option will be equal in length and rigor to the Good Death assignment).
Write a 750-1000 word document that conveys your wishes. You may want to address it to your loved ones, but that is not required.
Use these questions below as your guide, but you will want to organize your document in a way that makes clear thematic sense (rather than by chapter). Be sure to incorporate at least five of the ideas and concepts from this list and/or from the course readings. Be sure to bold these concepts in your document.
You will be graded on:
Content (150 pts): Did you appropriately incorporate at least five concepts from the reading?
Clarity and Cohesion (50 pts): Is you writing organized and error-free?
Mechanics (50 pts): Did you meet the minimum word count?
Consider addressing the following:
Chapter 3: Perspectives on Death: Historical and Cultural
1. What might you like your deathbed experience to be?
a. Consider The Deathbed Scene
1. (the typical Christian death in the Middle Ages can be a model)
1. Who should be there and when?
Chapter 6: End of Life Issues and Decisions
2. What advanced directives will you have in place?
a. Consider the Five Wishes (P 237)
Chapter 7: Facing Death: Living with Life-Threatening Illness
1. What decision will you make about pain management? (P 282)
2. Will you choose to share a life review or Legacy Movie (P 290-1)? What will you share and why?
3. What would you like your social role to be as you are dying (P 289)
4. Will you have a Going-Away Party? What will it look like? Consider writing an invitation.
a. See Figure 7-2, The invitation to a Going-Away Party (P 270)
(Instructions continue on next page)
Chapter 8: Last Rites: Funerals and Body Disposition
5. What are your wishes for your funeral?
a. Consider funeral service/wake/memorial
b. Body disposition
c. How much do you anticipate the cost will be?
Chapter 14: Beyond Death/After Life
6. Consider how views of the after life influence your expectations about death and dying.
a. P 565 Is death a wall or a door? (P 565)
b. In what ways do your religious ideas influence your wishes and expectations?
Chapter 15: The Path Ahead: Personal and Social Choices
7. Imagine you have been asked to participate in Fritz Roth’s exhibit.
a. What would you include in your suitcase, and why?
b. Review Figure 15-1, Suitcase for the Last Journey, and “Gaining a Global Perspective.”
8. What features of a good death are important to you and how will you ensure them?
a. Consider Kastenbaum’s characteristics of a good death (P 588)
b. Consider Figure 15-1 Components of a Good Death (P 588)
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