Course Number: 
49332

Death is a universal human experience relevant to all areas of social work practice. Through readings, films, discussions and exercises, students will develop an understanding of the dying experience, as well as the attitudes toward and the approach to death and dying in America. The medical system's influence on end of life care and the rise of hospice and palliative care will be a focus of this course. The notion of a “good death” and the impact of ethnic, cultural, religious and spiritual influences will be explored, as well as advance care planning and the overarching ethical and moral dilemmas that can arise. While the topics of grief and bereavement are not explicitly covered, time will be devoted to exploring loss across the life course, as well as the impact of violent and sudden deaths on victims and their families. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop a self-awareness of their own values and beliefs toward dying and death, and explore strategies for self-care.