Study "Aging / Death / Gerontology" Essays 56-110

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Near Death Experiences Term Paper

… ¶ … near-death experiences. Specifically, it will discuss the reality of near-death experiences and whether they exist or not. Near-death experience (NDE) stories have become almost commonplace in our modern culture. Many studies into this phenomenon have occurred, and many… [read more]

Death and Dying: Funerals Abstract for Funerals-R-Us Term Paper

… Death and Dying: Funerals

Abstract for Funerals-R-Us: From Funeral Home to Mega-Industry

Writer Thomas Lynch gives an "insider's perspective" on the funeral industry by pointing out that trying to describe death, the look of death, and what to do with dead bodies has a history and that history is, first and foremost, "an existential experience." And Lynch goes on to describe the rather grim work that a mortician (funeral operator) has to go through. Embalming, being called in the middle of the night to come and retrieve a body, dealing with grieving families, sponsoring little league uniforms - these things are all part of the "insider's perspective" of being in the funeral business.

Lynch also says that funeral parlors are "generally abhorred for their proximity to the dead" and for their "trade in grief and mourning," somebody has to do this job, and it should be done with dignity and without seeming to be money grabbing about it.

Annotation for Funerals-R-Us: From Funeral Home to Mega-Industry

Lynch makes the point that no matter who conducts funerals, they will always have "sacred, secular, spiritual, emotional, social and practical duties" in making sure the job is done correctly and diplomatically. And Lynch adds that even though big corporations are buying up small family funeral businesses, about 85% of the 22,000 funeral homes in America are still family-owned enterprises, and those family-owned funeral parlors have spent an average of 54 years in their respective communities.

Abstract for Three ways to arrange a funeral: Mortuary variation in the modern West

Tony Walker writes about the ways in which funeral practices are different in various Western nations; he also alludes to the specific institutional differences in those practices. In his article, Walker uses a number of published accounts and published research on how funerals are conducted in different nations. For example, Americans, Walker writes, have culturally accepted and practiced a sentimental approach to burying their dead, while in England there is "...a pragmatic acceptance of cremation."

Walker also points out that when industrialized nations' populations began to explode - and hence, more and more dead bodies were in need of disposal - "large out-of-town cemeteries became common in the U.S. And in England, and also "religious concerns were eroded in the face of public health requirements." The Western nations began turning to pathologists,… [read more]

Death of Ivan Ilych Term Paper

… " There may be some of Tolstoy's own poisoned marriage described in these passages here between Ivan and Prokovya. She decided at a certain point in her husband's illness, the attitude she would take to it: "that is was his… [read more]

Religion Humans and Death Technically Term Paper

… In addition, because man is simply an animal form, we can see by the animals around us that they do not "come back" or return again in another form. They simply pass on, and so do we. I believe that there is only one life and that we must live it well and be the best person we can be, because we will not get another chance at it.

All of that being said, I cannot explain the out of body or near death experiences that some people have experienced. Those I think go beyond explanation and into the paranormal, and I simply do not understand or grasp how these things occur. Many people believe they have seen God or heaven, but I think they are simply more like dreams or hallucinations of some sort. People are still conscious of things even if they are "unconscious," and I think that may be part of the explanation, at least. They still do not convince me that there is truly life after death.


Vardy, Peter & Arliss, Julie. The Thinker's Guide to God. Alresford, Hants, UK: John Hunt Publishing,… [read more]

Aging the "Baby Boomers Term Paper

… All issues related to aging depend on financial security; therefore, the ultimate concern of all persons with aging parents or grandparents will be the ability to properly provide for their needs. Finally, emotional, social, and psychological issues related to aging such as elder abuse or agism persist as major problems facing the older generations.

By the time the younger generation approaches retirement, all of the above problem areas will remain salient. However, it is highly possible that as the "baby boomers" age in greater numbers that popular opinion regarding the aging process will shift. Prejudices toward the aging, elder abuse, the lack of priority given to aging populations in political decisions might all diminish within the next few decades as more and more people pay attention to the needs of an aging population. While getting older will always entail some physical and mental health problems, increased awareness, compassion, and education can go a long way toward eliminating some of the social and economic issues associated with aging.

Works Cited

Administration on Aging. Website online at [read more]

Death and Dying 'My New Term Paper

… Her experience, which prompted her to write the book Embraced by the Light illustrates that dying is not in itself a bad thing and therefore cutting the feeding tube off of someone who has lost the essence of their human… [read more]

Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death Term Paper

… 5. Kessler, David. The Rights of the Dying. Perennial, 1998. Kessler presents a set of seventeen clear-cut ethical "rights" of all living persons, who should ideally be able to participate in one of the most important parts of their lives: their death. Included among these rights are the right to die itself: the central issue in the reformation of public policy. Kessler's book can provide an overall ethical framework from which to deal with the thorny issue of death and dying.

6. Byock, Ira. Dying Well. Riverhead, 1998. Another series of compelling case studies regarding the need for individuals in our society to better confront the issues of dying and death, Byock's Dying Well shows that death is not only an integral part of life but one that should not be feared so fully as to impact public policy against compassionate right-to-die legislation. The stories contained in The Rights of the Dying can help voters make informed decisions regarding their own right to die as well as the rights of their loved ones.

7. Urofsky, Melvin I. Letting Go: Death, Dying and the Law. University of Oklahoma Press, 1994. Unlike many of the other books in this annotated bibliography, Urofsky's Letting Go offers a legalistic perspective on the right-to-die. Showing how the law can at once support a patient's right to die and at the same time offer a sound, balanced, moral framework for a modern society, Urofsky's book is instrumental in guiding shifts in social norms, awareness, and public policy. Letting Go demonstrates that the right-to-die need not interfere with religiosity in American society.

8. Eadie, Betty J. Embraced by the Light. Bantam, 1994. Another classic in its field, Eadie's Embraced by the Light is an esoteric, new age view on death and dying. Focusing on the potential of the near-death experience, Eadie's book is nevertheless Christian in perspective and can therefore be used to illustrate to the American public that although death can be frightening to think about, that death and dying themselves need not be perceived as so negative as to mould public policy toward admonition against the right to die.

9. Ritchie, George. Return from Tomorrow. Revell, 1988. George Ritchie had a near-death experience. Like other books of its kind, Ritchie's encounters with the beyond and his renewed perspective on life can help reshape social norms in our culture and consequentially provide more compassionate laws regarding the right to die.

10. Kubler-Ross. Questions and Answers on Death and Dying. Scribner, 1997. A follow-up on her seminal On Death and Dying, Kubler-Ross here offers some updated advice for people dealing with their own or their loved ones' final moments. While Questions and Answers does not necessarily diverge significantly from Kubler-Ross's earlier work it can offer a focused perspective on some of the core issues surrounding the transition from life to… [read more]

Life and Death Term Paper

… Life is celebrated: a birth of a new creature generally brings joy and hope, whereas a death brings sorrow and pain. Animals also react to their dead in different ways than they react to live creatures. During the course of a living creature's life its body is animated; the person thinks, feels, and communicates with other people.

Our knowledge of life and death also differs: we can better explain what happens during the course of a human being's life than during death. The concept of death differs greatly across different cultures: some envision an eternal afterlife, whereas others imagine a string of new lives, or rebirths.

Although human beings know more about life than we do about death, scientists can not exactly quantify life. Life and death are similar in the sense that little is known of either. When a person dies, no one can say for certain what, besides the body, characterized that human being and made him or her different from other people. Therefore, in both life and in death, human beings are all the same. [read more]

Dementia an Inevitable Term Paper

… Such decline, however, does not prevent them from losing their mental alertness to an extent that they are not able to perform their normal functions. Dementia, on the other hand is a chronic and usually progressive deterioration of mental abilities due to changes in the brain. It is, therefore, important to realize that dementia is in no way an inevitable part of growing old. By recognizing this basic fact, doctors and family members are better able to help people suffering from dementia and the elderly who may show decline in their cognitive functions for other reasons.


"Dementia" (2004). Neurology Channel. Retrieved on February 12, 2005 from / 'Forgetfulness: It's Not Always What You Think." (2004). National Institute on Aging:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved on February 12, 2005 from

"Guidelines for the Evaluation of Dementia and Age-Related Cognitive Decline." (1998).

American Psychological Association. Retrieved on February 12, 2005 from

Dementia usually occurs in the elderly, but can also affect the not so old

Cognition is the act or process of thinking, perceiving, and learning

Figures for other developed countries including the UK show a similar trend.

Also called vascular dementia

A German neuro-pathologist

Causes of Alzheimer's disease are still not fully known. However, some families are at risk for genetic reasons. Scientists also believe that some triggers in our environment can make the disease appear, but these triggers have not yet been identified.

Tests such as MRI and CT Scan can detect structural, or physical, changes in the brain to an extent and EEG, which traces brain wave activity are a help, but nothing short of autopsy… [read more]

Keys to Successful Ageing Term Paper

… A healthy diet rich in fruits, grains, and vegetables, drinking lots of water, and regular exercise are important keys to feeling good throughout life, whatever one's age (Keys to successful ageing, pp. 1-2). As the literature reflects, good slogans for this to age well and feel happy, healthy, and actively engaged with life, whatever their age, might be "Don't stop," or "Use it or lose it."

Overall, the health and well being of one's mind, body, and spirit, combined, as one ages; meaningful work or hobbies; fulfilling daily activities and friendships; good health habits, including eating nutritionally and exercising regularly, getting receiving health checkups, and maintaining friendships and a positive outlook, all add up to ageing well.


Balandin, S. Searching for successful ageing. The Courier. Retrieved Dec. 18, 2004 from

Garnett, C. Keys to successful ageing. HealthPlus. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2004 from http://

Continuing engagement with life. Tsao Foundation. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2004 from

Heart & soul. Tsao Foundation. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2004 from http://www.tsaofoundation


Keys to successful ageing. Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Retrieved Dec. 18, 2004


Keys to Vital Ageing. Retrieved Dec.18, 2004 from

The structure of successful ageing. Tsao Foundation. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2004 from [read more]

Aging Term Paper

… Problems pertaining to politics, economics, and social realities will come to the fore as America becomes a "grayer" culture.

Growing old isn't necessarily a negative process. Our grandparents are sources of wisdom and repositories of great stories of times long gone. The tales of grandparents provide rich fodder for younger generations, who when they respect their elders stand to learn much about themselves, their ancestry, and their community. Especially in a multicultural society, elderly people become conduits to the past and to the traditions of cultures that are at the risk of dying out. Therefore, old people have a very real and solid status in American culture and should always be valued as such.

As more and more baby boomers age, it will become clear that aging isn't a negative phenomenon. The baby boomer generation has instilled in American culture the view that agism is like sexism or racism: a form of prejudice. Moreover, Americans are becoming increasingly more health conscious in general. Therefore, the elderly generation in 2020 will probably be far healthier overall than the elderly population of today or of ten years ago.

Furthermore, as more and more people grow old, they will begin to have increased impact on the political and economic realities. Political decisions might not reflect the wishes of the younger generation but rather, the more restrained and conservative tendencies of an older generation. American culture could in fact become even more conservative with the "graying of America." On the other hand, many liberal baby boomers could end up having a greater impact on American politics. Finally, with an increased need for retirement communities, and old age homes, the American economy could become severely burdened by an aging population. Because social norms do not dictate that children must take care of their parents, this problem shows no… [read more]

Death With Dignity: A Right Term Paper

… It is the government that stands in the way. More than 35% of physicians have admitted that they would participate in voluntary euthanasia practices if afforded the opportunity if patients requested it (Bachman, 1996). In another study conducted by Lee… [read more]

Death and Dying Heard Term Paper

… "The first time was the anniversary...the fiftieth anniversary for you and Mama..." That itself is sad, that a nuclear family had not enjoyed the experience of sharing time together, but also it is sweet that now they are brought together,… [read more]

Aging Gracefully Term Paper

… "

Wrinkle Fighters

Fighting wrinkles is a major concern for many people. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) promise to "reduce fine lines and regain a smoother, younger complexion, however they can be hard on the skin (unknown, 2002)." In contrast, amphoteric hydroxy complexes (AHC) promise the same effect, but without the "common side effects, such as stinging, irritation, and redness. AHCs are actually AHAs combined with an amino acid that slows the release of the active ingredients into the skin, making them less likely to irritate (unknown, 2002)."

The most common injectable substances in use today are "Botox ® (70%) and collagen (22%). The FDA is considering the use of two new non-surgical wrinkle fighters, Restylane and Hylaform, which are hyaluronic acid-based soft tissue fillers that have been approved in Canada and Europe (unknown, 2003)."

There are a number of risks currently involved in injectables. These risks include "an imperfect outcome, allergic reaction, misplaced injection and an equal division between over- and under-injection. Dermatologists predict in the future injectables will be made to last longer, be safer and deliver better results (unknown, 2003)."

Deep wrinkles are treated with heavy "glycolic acid peels, which are about 70% glycolic acid. These actually result in a superficial second-degree burn, making the skin peel, stimulating new vascularization and stimulating some collagen development (Hilton, 2001)."


As the general population of the world ages, consumers continue to look for anti-aging skincare products.

New products are being introduced and "better ingredients are being added to just about all products that fall under the facial tare category - facial cleansers, moisturizers, toners, exfoliants and masks for oily, dry, normal and combination skin (Facenda)."

Some of the new over-the-counter products recently introduced include "Olay's Total Effects line with the introduction of Total Effects 7X, an upgraded formulation to the original moisturizer line that features seven vitamins and minerals; Regenerist, a moisturizer that uses penta-peptides (a group of rive amino acids) to help regenerate the appearance of the skin; moisture lotions and creams with SPF 15, UVA and UVB sun protection; and L'Oreal's Wrinkle De-Crease Daily Smoothing Serum and Eye Cream which is formulated to treat expression lines around the eyes and crow's feet (Facenda)." Manufacturers are also creating skincare products for men such as Nivea's Revitalizing Lotion Q10. This lotion is "specially formulated for men, features coenzyme Q10, vitamins and SPF 15 and is designed to moisturize and protect skin, while replenishing lost nutrients (Facenda)."

Exercise, Nutrition and Supplements

In the fight to reduce the aging process of the skin, some dermatologists recommend a "modified protein diet which reduces insulin levels, and emphasize reducing or eliminating sugar almost completely because the four pillars of aging include excess blood sugar, insulin, free radicals, and cortisol, which comes from stress (Hilton, 2001)." Supplements such as melatonin, human growth hormone, and hormone replacement therapy should only be taken under the care of a doctor, and exercise and yoga are recommended to lower a person's stress levels (Hilton, 2001).


As the life… [read more]

Death by Sherwin Nuland Term Paper

… Criticism

From the above discussion there is no doubt that the above views and analysis of death by both Nuland and Socrates are practical in the sense that it offers one the insight to a dignified death through knowledge. Yet it can be seen that Nuland focuses too much on the technical and medical aspect of the transition of life to death of the body. According to him we lose our dignity once our body fails which result in death. How one experience death depends on how one bears the pain of the disease or the condition in which one lives. Thus, even if one dies naturally as a result of growing old without any affliction Nuland's explanation does not offer an understanding for them as to why they are painful or peaceful; his explanation although claims to demythologize death as a painful process but it does not offer one an understanding of death by accident that usually result in sudden and painless/painful but without the knowledge or understanding of the victim. Hence, in the researcher's opinion this aspect of Nuland's explanation is limited and needs elaboration. It cannot be explained through technical jargon nor through the simple explanation of knowledge acquisition since these individuals may lead a perfectly healthy life without any disease or they may not even be old yet they die suddenly without any premonition. There is no real explanation for its cause and consequence. In this regard, Socrates' explanation of the conduct of the soul and the resultant painful/painless journey proves more meaningful as it allows one to understand the real essence of life and death both from the pragmatic and spiritual view.


Sherwin B. Nuland. How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter. 1993, ISBN: 0679742441

Plato. The Last Days of Socrates. Ed, Hugh Tredennick and Harold Tarrant. New York: Penguin Books, 1993.

Treddenick, Hugh (Tr.). Last Days of Socrates. Accessed on 6-2-2004 at

Canavan, Francis. Letting Go: How We Die. First… [read more]

Lubben, James E. And Damron-Rodriguez Term Paper

… By the 20th century, however, this intergenerational exchange had been broken. While old people had gained from the medical knowledge generated in the 20th century, they have also become largely marginalized from society. Most families no longer depend on older people for care giving, contributing to the declining social value of the elderly. However, Thane rightly points out that this declining social role is often neglected in favor of the medical and scientific issues that are related to the aging body. Though the author makes no suggestions on how this role could be recast, his research presents a solid springboard regarding the social history and social aspects of aging.

Snowdon, David A. 2003. "Healthy aging and dementia: Findings from the Nun Study." Annals of Internal Medicine. available from Proquest Database.

Using case studies drawn from the landmark Nun Study, Snowden examines the links between healthy aging, dementia and the development of cognitive difficulties associated with Alzheimer's disease. Snowden's own research focuses on examining why some brains resist the development of neuropathic lesions, translating to a resistance to symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and by extension, a healthier and more cognitively alert old age.

The Nun Study, began in 1991, has given researchers a unique longitudinal database to study data regarding the early- and middle-life risk factors that cause dementia and other cognitive difficulties in old age. Snowden makes full use of the data already available, including postmortem comparisons of the brains of the nuns who have participated in this unique study.

Though Snowden cautions that the Nun Study is still in its early phases, he already uncovers startling links between lifestyles and healthy aging -- including the healthy physical aging of the brain. A postmortem examination of the brain of Sister Bernadette, for example, shows virtually no lesions or abnormalities, even though she was already 101 years old when she died and even though she had a strong family history of Alzheimer's disease. In contrast, 92-year-old Sister Agnes' postmortem examination showed moderate atherosclerosis as well as lesions in various parts of her brain.

For Snowden, cognitive activity during early and middle life accounts for much of these differences. Unlike Sister Agnes, Sister Bernadette had completed high school as well as university, and had engaged in cognitive activity such as reading and teaching for much of her life. Thus, despite her family of Alzheimer's disease, Sister Bernadette's brain seemed impervious to the disease.

Though much follow-ups are needed, Snowden's article is again another springboard for further studies regarding aging in society. This article calls into question the prevailing western notions that equate… [read more]

Benefits of the Creative Process for Dementia Thesis

… Art Interventions for Dementia Patients

[Type text] [Type text] [Type text]

Creative Aging

Art Intervention Processes for Dementia Patients

Art Interventions for Dementia Patients


There are few phrases that I dislike more than 'It is what it is'. I… [read more]

American Culture Research Paper

… Death

Attitudes, beliefs, and practices related to death and dying are central to all cultures. Usually these attitudes, beliefs, and practices are rooted in prevailing social norms and religious dogma. Beliefs about death impact behaviors ranging from preparations for funerals… [read more]

Described as Illnesses That Contribute Article Review

… 229). The diagnosis of a new patient with the disease requires education and support to understand the disease and impact on the patient's life. Notably, the diagnosis stage requires regular observation of the patient and numerous discussions with him/her and the family regarding specific needs and functional ability. The researcher argues that there are therapeutic alternatives to optimize the pharmacological management of Parkinson's disease at all stages. Early onset of the disease is treated using levodopa and additional dopamine agonist for patients who continue experiencing dyskinesia. During mid-stage, patients should undergo close monitoring to optimize motor control while administering doses of levodopa.

Traumatic Brain Injury in the Elderly:

Traumatic brain injury is a major health issue among older adults since it accounts for over 80,000 emergency department visits on an annual basis by persons above 65 years. The severity of this problem is evident in the fact that 75% of these visits usually end up in hospitalization (Thompson, McCormick & Kagan, 2006, p.1590). However, this neurocognitive disorder is still a neglected disease burden across the globe. As a result, three researchers conducted a study on the epidemiology, outcomes, and future implications of traumatic brain injury in older adults.

Based on the findings of their study, the highest rates of hospitalization and death related to this disease occur among adults aged 75 or more. The two major causes of this disorder are falls and motor vehicle accidents, which accounts for 51% and 9% respectively. The major risk factors for traumatic brain injury include male sex and non-white ethnicity. The researchers argue that the widespread neglect of the disease is attributed to the scarcity of information available about traumatic brain injury in older adults ((Thompson, McCormick & Kagan, 2006, p.1593). Consequently, the existing care of older patients with the disease is largely based on previous work conducted in younger patients. This contributes to the urgent need to study traumatic brain injury in the elderly, particularly because of the frequency with which elderly people experience it. There is need to refocus research efforts on this significant public health issue to prevent its prevalence in the elderly and identify unique care needs to promote the best patient outcomes.


Neurocognitive disorders are illnesses that are most likely to occur among older adults than younger ones mainly because of older age. While an increase in age plays a crucial factor in the occurrence of these diseases, they are usually associated with other factors depending on the specific disorder. Moreover, the diseases have varying impacts on the patient and require the development of effective protective measures to prevent their spread and effects in the aging population. In essence, significant research initiatives should be undertaken to address these public health issues.


Iansek, R. (2004, September). Pharmacological Management of Parkinson's Disease. Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, 34(3), 229-233. Retrieved from

Thompson, H.J., McCormick, W.C. & Kagan, S.H. (2006, October). Traumatic Brain Injury in Older Adults: Epidemiology, Outcomes, and Future Implications. Journal of the American Geriatrics… [read more]

Prince Prospero in Edger Allen Term Paper

… Prospero eventually overcomes his reluctance as he is the only one who approaches the ugly stranger, but this is only after much deliberation and attempts at getting his friends to do it for him. The party itself also demonstrates how Prince Prospero was reluctant to face not only the death of himself but a massive apocalyptic plague that had taken over the fictional land.

What Poe's story is truly expressing, is that Prince Prospero's ignorance is what is causing all of his problems. This main quality of the character drives the weird and macabre story that Poe is trying to inflict on his readers. Prospero is happy burying his head in the sand and letting others solve his problems for him. This mindset is the cause of all his fears as he knows nothing about the outside world and has shut himself off from the rest of society in an ignorant fashion.

Prince Prospero's ignorance is epitomized in his hurried attempts to seize the stranger and attack him with a dagger. A hasty attack performed by the prince suggests that he has no idea what is really going on and has now resorted to violence to solve his thirst for knowledge. Ignorance is usually followed by inane violence and Prince Prospero is no exception in this case. Poe's use of placing such an ignorant character as Prospero and entitling him with nobility may suggest Poe's contempt for the ignorance of the elitists in his day.

Since Prince Prospero is the only well defined character in this story his contributing qualities reveal much about the more finer and subtle messages the author has placed within the depths of this short story. By demonstrating fear, ignorance and reluctance we see how Prince Prospero has met a rather chilling and frightening end to his life and, at the same time, begin to understand the importance of liberating yourself from your own fears despite the risk and danger to the act itself.


Poe, E. "The Masque of the Red Death" at [read more]

Alzheimer's Adult Daycare for Patients Literature Review

… Vreugdenhil, Anthea, Cannell, John, Davies, Andrew, and Razay, George. (2011). A community-based exercise programme to improve functional ability in people with Alzheimer's disease: A randomized controlled trial. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 26(1), 12-19.

When evaluating an ideal daycare setting… [read more]

Thomas/Dickinson Comparison the Theme of Death Essay

… Thomas/Dickinson Comparison

The theme of death has often been explored in poetry and provides insight into poets' personal belief systems, exposing their anxieties, fears, or acceptance of the phenomena. Two poems that explore the theme of death are Emily Dickinson's "Because I could not stop for Death" and Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night." Each of these authors provides a distinct perspective into death and are able to express their thoughts and beliefs through their poems.

Emily Dickinson accepts death as a natural part of her life and is not fearful or anxious about death or dying. In "Because I could not stop for Death," Dickinson personifies death in order to make the concept more familiar, and gives him gentlemanly qualities to further create familiarity. In the poem, Dickinson eloquently describes death and writes, "Because I could not stop for Death/He kindly stopped for me…/we slowly drove, he knew no haste/and I had put away/My labor, and my leisure too. / for his civility" (Dickinson lines 1-2, 5-8). As "Because I could not stop for Death" develops, Dickinson approaches her advancement towards the end of her life calmly. She points out "the School...the Fields of Grazing Grain,...[and] the Setting Sun" memories that have brought her joy and meaning to her life (9, 11-12). However, as Death passes the carriage, Dickinson's attitude changes, and although she is not fearful, she is altered. Dickinson writes, "The Dews drew quivering and chill -- / for only Gossamer my Gown -- / My tippet -- only Tulle" (Dickinson, 1890, lines 14-16). "Because I could not stop for Death" concludes with a tone of acceptance and comfort as Dickinson arrives at her final resting place, which she terms her home. Dickinson writes that her carriage -- and thus her life -- has come to an end as it "paused before a house that seemed / a swelling of the Ground -- / the Roof was scarcely visible -- / the Cornice -- in the Ground" (17-20). The poem concludes with Dickinson embracing the finality of death, and is comforted by the fact that she recognized death as a natural part of life.

On the contrary, Thomas is anxious and fearful about… [read more]

Aging and the Family-Work Link Essay

… They also examined different personal life histories of women and how caregiving and the work-family problem have defined female Mexican's lives.

However, while the authors do establish that they will use a mixed methods approach and fuse both independent research and a literature review, the specific sections of the study where one approach may be emphasized over another approach are not clear. Also, the final research implications are not even hinted at, even by the end of the introduction. The significance of the specific decades emphasized in the title is also uncertain. Overall, while the importance of the research is established in the introduction, as well as its descriptive quality, it is uncertain as to why the mixed methods approach was necessary or how the specific information accumulated can illuminate or potentially solve the issues raised in the initial first sentences of the research. Greater clarity in the initial lead-up to the story in the introduction as well as a more focused purpose statement would have improved this article tremendously. Regardless of the significance of the subsequent research, a good introduction is essential to indicate to readers why the article is important and worthy of attention.


Blanco, M. & Pacheco, E. (2009). Aging and the family-work link: A comparative analysis of two generations of Mexican women (1936-1938 and 1951-1953).… [read more]

Ram Dass Still Here Book Review

… It should not be wasted in fear of something we all have to go through.

Dass explains that his stroke reminded him of the frailty of his physical form, and was in many ways a way for him to prepare for the major changes that were to come. So many people view these types of tragedies just as that -- tragic. They fight the frailty of their physical bdies, trying to regain a strength that has long since past them. Many refuse to accept the help from others during this vulnerable period, trying to reassert their older physical presence and autonomy within their lives. Yet this is only denying the inevitable and making it harder to embrace the changes that are yet to come. By fighting so hard against life and what it ultimately has planned for us all, one misses out on an essential preparation period before the big change actually comes. One must embrace the love and help of others, rather than try to fight it, because this is the period where one can enjoy all the friendships and family that one has spent an entire lifetime building. After everything we all do for those around us, this is a period where we can accept help in return without worries about selfishness or trying to pay people back. Accepting the help we need from others is a natural humbling process that once again prepares us for what is to come, but also shows us how great our lives really were.

Ultimately, Dass explains that he really does not have the answer to that big, controversial question. He cannot tell any of us for certain what is going to happen next after we die. Sitting around and trying to figure that out will only complicate and frustrate oneself during the twilight period of their lives, where they should be enjoying the company of others and sitting back remembering all the wonderful things their physical lives had brought them. From this perspective, he writes "one of the best parts of aging is entering the 'don't know,' learning to be someone who can rest comfortably in uncertainty" (Dass 2001). The idea here is that no one knows for certain what comes after death, or even when death will actually come for them. Our human brains are only so limited, and are not capable of understanding the how and why of the spiritual world that awaits us. Stressing about these unanswerable questions will only make those last few years more complicated and depressing. In this older stage of life, people have to let go of this need to control everything. They cannot control death, they cannot fear death, they simply have to just be content in understanding that their lives are now in greater hands, and when the time comes -- it comes. Dass professes such a practical pholisiohpy beautifully throughout his work. It is definitely a perfect match for the type of alternative philosophy he first discussed earlier in his life.… [read more]

Stem Cell Research the Issue of Federal Essay

… Stem Cell Research

The issue of federal funding for embryos stem cell research is one of the most contentious and painful topics in the area of public health, because the arguments for an against are so wildly divergent in terms… [read more]

Life Stage of Late Adulthood Term Paper

… ¶ … Old

The Very Late Old: Sociologist Daniel Levinson described eight stages of adulthood (e.g., Levinson, 1986). The last stage of adulthood, late adulthood, occurs at age 65 and beyond. Levinson's theory was originally described many years ago and… [read more]

Biology of Aging Research Paper

… Senescent cells are essentially cells that "promote the aging of tissues" (Wade 2011). These cells increase the signs and process of aging within older tissue because they accumulate aging within the skin. They do so by creating a low level of inflammation by increasing the reaction f the immune system within the skin in question.

Chambers et al. showed that there is a possibility for homeostasis living systems to not strive for homeostasis. Essentially, there are certain cells that do not contribute the regulation of the internal environment within the body, and actually disrupt its normal functioning as in the case of cancer cells (Conti 2008). Many types of cells, including undifferentiated stem cells, often do not turn towards promoting homeostasis. This often increases with age.

Studies on various forms of progeria show that there are often genetic conditions which can mimic the signs of aging. Huntington-Gilford progeria and Werner's syndrome are dominant genetic diseases that increased the speed of the aging process. These conditions show that normal aging may be linked to genetic predispositions, as it is triggered by genetic material.

4. Gene splicing alters with age, which means that the process of gene splicing changes with age to trigger the signs and conditions of aging. The quote shows that Hutchinson-Gilford porgeria syndrome is comparable to artificially made senescent cells (Science Daily 2011). The fact that progeria might be considered a process of normal aging is representative of theses that show the production of progeria as a biomarker of normal cellular aging which can be linked to terminal differentiation (McClintock et al. 2007).

5. There are a number of major causes of aging within the human body. Yet, the Programmed Cellular Aging Theory shows that the biggest causes are actually an impairment of the cell's ability to transfer necessary RNAs. This is often caused by DNA increasingly turning off particular functions based on a predetermined genetic setting.

6. Aging research must receive more attention within the public eye in order to generate enough funding to really examine the process of aging on a cellular level. It is important to direct future efforts to understanding how the cellular process impacts aging and how it can lead to future developments in preventing aging.

7. Luckily, living organisms can repair damage at the cellular level. DNA repair… [read more]

Policy Considerations in the Development and Implementation Essay

… ¶ … policy considerations in the development and implementation of an aging-related service program. What specific aging-related factors of an older client need to be considered in offering such services? Give 2 examples of such situations that may occur in… [read more]

Opportunities and Protections Aging Related Public Policy Initiatives Essay

… Protective Services for the Elderly

Aging and the elderly have become an increasing concern, especially in the Western world today. The fact is that the population is aging and will most likely continue to do so as a result of… [read more]

Euthanasia Essay

… Conclusion:

Since euthanasia is not a standard medical practice, several arguments have been raised regarding its legality and morality. Some of the major arguments include voluntary euthanasia and involuntary euthanasia though each has certain drawbacks. As a result of the disadvantages, a middle ground position is the most logical solution for the problem or issue. The middle ground position involves administering euthanasia based on the patient's medical condition and its appropriateness rather than its legality or morality. It's a logical solution because it enables terminally-ill patients to have the right to a dignified death, whereas physicians have the moral responsibility to keep their patients alive.

Works Cited:

De Boer, Marike E., Rose-Marie Dro Es, Cees Jonker, Jan A. Eefsting, and Cees M.P.M. Hertogh. "Advance Directives for Euthanasia in Dementia: How Do They Affect Resident Care in Dutch Nursing Homes? Experiences of Physicians and Relatives." Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 59.6 (2011): 989-96. Print.

Fenigsen, Richard. "Other People's Lives: Reflections on Medicine, Ethics, and Euthanasia." Issues in Law & Medicine 27.1 (2011): 51-70. Print.

Lewis, Penney. "The Empirical Slippery Slope from Voluntary to Non-Voluntary Euthanasia." Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2007): 197-210. Print.

McGee, Andrew. "Me and My Body: The Relevance of the Distinction for the Difference between Withdrawing Life Support and Euthanasia." Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2011): 671-77. Print.

"Should Euthanasia or Physician-assisted Suicide Be Legal?" Euthanasia -, 24 May 2012. Web. 10 June… [read more]

Gerontology: Assessment and Ethical Concerns Gerontology Studies Essay

… Gerontology: Assessment and Ethical Concerns

Gerontology studies currently predict that the number of people above the age of 65 will double within the next thirty years (Miller, Zylstra & Standridge, 2000). This will place a substantial strain on medical resources as geriatric patients develop age-related illnesses. It is thus important for physicians to develop efficient geriatric assessment tools and understand the various ethical concerns that arise in treating older adults.

The assessment of older patients differs in a number of ways. Most significantly, the geriatric assessment focuses on intellectual impairment, immobility, instability, incontinence, and iatrogenic disorders (Elsawy & Higgins, 2011). These are the most prevalent problems faced by elderly patients and are often missed in a standard medical evaluation. The treatment of geriatric patients also differs in scope. Due to the complex problems faced by elderly patients, often exacerbated by mental illnesses, the assessment emphasizes the functional status and quality of life and generally involves an interdisciplinary team of healthcare providers.

A comprehensive geriatric assessment focus current symptoms and illnesses and their functional impact, medications, past illnesses, recent life changes, social functionality and current living environment (Elsawy & Higgins, 2011). It tries to place the patient's illness into a social aspect. It includes objective measures of cognitive status, mobility and balance, emotional health, nutritional status but also ascertains the family situation and assistance availability.

The health history consists of both present and past illnesses. The assessment team of physicians will prompt the patient for severity and persistence of current symptoms and record childhood diseases, hospitalizations, medications and diet. Other components of the health history include a social history charting relationships, vocation and most importantly sleep, exercise, recreation, and habits of drug consumption. A family history that maps the presence of disease with recognized familial importance including diabetes, hypertension, allergies, heart disease and neurological or psychiatric diseases are also identified. Signs of osteoporosis and arthritic are also assessed in order to measure the risk of falling (Miller, Zylstra & Standridge, 2000).

There are a number of assessment tools that are specifically designed for the evaluation of older adults. Wallace and Fulmer describe the SPICES tool, which tests for the common syndromes requiring nursing intervention (2007). The acronym stands for sleeping disorders, problems with eating or feeding, incontinence, confusion, evidence of falls and skin breakdown. The validity and reliability of this tool has been confirmed in… [read more]

Healthy Aging Health Care Disparities Essay

… ¶ … beliefs, hopes, fears and expectations for your own aging.

As I grow older, it is my hope that I will have taken the necessary steps to prepare a transition in support needs. This includes surrounding myself with a loving support system, taking proper medical steps to improve quality of life and making the proper decisions as a functional adult so that my wishes can be carried out when I no longer have the wherewithal to express them. I am increasingly aware today that the ways I prepare for later life as I grow older in terms of lifestyle and planning will determine how I live as I age.

Describe what is meant by the diversity of older adults and the effects of gender.

The diversity of older adults is comprised of the variance in ages that are implicated by the term. The categories of elderly are distinguished by advancing age sets in which certain health concerns become larger and more permeating. Where gender is concerned, many of these needs divide across this dimension as particularized health risks such as prostate cancer in men or breast cancer in women are concerned.

3. Define in one sentence each of the following concepts of chronological age, identifying its relativity, the concepts of 'young-old,' 'old-old,'? And 'elite old', functional, chronological and biological/physiological age.

According to our research, young-old refers to those just entering retirement age and typically falling between the ages of 65 and 74. Old-old refers to adults between the ages of 85 and 94, at which many of the advancing health and physical challenges of aging become persistent. Elite-old adults are those who advance to 95 years and beyond. Functional age refers to the capacity of the individual to continue to perform in certain faculties such as physical mobility or mental comprehension as one grows older. Chronological refers to the actual age of the individual in years.… [read more]

Humanistic or Secular Approach to Death Reaction Paper

… Humanistic or Secular Approach to Death

One reality that people learn to live with very early in life is that death is inevitable. It is the end of all human beings, and indeed, of all living things on earth. At some point, death will come for all of us. This reality is most profoundly considered in Aurelius' writing. I find his writing on death not only more secular or humanistic, but in a very fundamental sense more realistic than any of the "traditional" views I have encountered so far. I do believe that it is possible for all human beings to attain this view of death. However, it will also depend on the specific person involved and his or her religious views. Some individuals will find it more difficult to adopt Aurelius' views, but this certainly does not mean that it is impossible for them to do so.

In today's world, many people are religiously oriented, especially in terms of their views on death. Because of the traditional concept of death as holding either eternal reward or eternal punishment for how life was conducted, many people have a profound fear of death. Others, in turn, look forward to it as if it is by far desirable above the physical life that we enjoy now. A large amount of fear regarding death therefore consists in the fact that we, as religious people, fear punishment.

Aurelius, however, does not consider this a valid viewpoint. Indeed, he even briefly caters for the fact that the "gods" of his time might not exist. He argues, however, that, if they do exist, they mean no harm to human spirits. Indeed, in Aurelius' view, they are either concerned with human well-being or indifferent. This might be a difficult point for today's fundamental Christians to accept. Hence, for the extremely religious, I think it is possible to accept Aurelius' view, since we are all rational human beings but it is somewhat unlikely.

Another profoundly interesting point that Aurelius makes is more difficult to argue with. Death is as natural as life itself and as birth. He argues that no rational, adult human being should fear death because it can be accepted simply… [read more]

Use of Concept Term Paper

… ¶ … death" has numerous meanings. Death can be both an event and a construct -- that is, death can be an event in the sense that one dies and is no longer alive and death can also be an… [read more]

Psychology in the 1950 Essay

… In the test, subjects rated and described themselves using the five traits. Friends and family would then rate the subjects as well as observers at social situations such as parties and work. The groundbreaking data showed that if the subject described themselves as introspective for example, others would too (Belsky, 1999). Therefore, the way people view and describe their personality traits are generally accurate and are viewed similarly by others. In addition to this, their studies showed that a pessimistic outlook on life is generally a stressful burden older people will carry with them if not altered in youth (Belsky, 1999).

When the elderly pass away, people often speak of the legacy of the deceased and what they have left behind. This is also generally something the elderly contemplate often before their passing (Belsky, 1999). The idea of leaving behind a legacy and having hope for future generations of humanity to strive is referred to as generativity in the psychological sense. Psychologists Dan McAdams proved through several charts and tests that generativity is heightened at later stages of life (Belsky, 1999). This appears to be because older adults have had a long amount of time to contemplate life and it's priorities. Also, the elderly have more time to establish an emotional connection with the world and its inhabitants before they leave and therefore may have more desire than their younger counterparts for the world and life to continue (Belsky, 1999).

Psychologist Hazel Markus introduced the concept of the self-schema in which humans gain knowledge of who they are and envision what their future will be like (Belsky, 1999). According to Markus, our self-schemas guide us to choices as they are our perceived idea of our adult-development and therefore greatly effect it (Belsky, 1999). In an all-encompassing manner, Laura Cartensen developed the Socioemotional-Selectivity Theory which explains humans attachments to particularly people. Basically, due to aging, humans generally come to a point where they attempt to focus more on the present and creating a positive emotional state for themselves (Belsky, 1999). Because of this, people want to surround themselves with people and things they feel familiar, at peace, and joyous with. Death can be a time of darkness for many and therefore being surrounded by love and joy is important to the elderly which leads to the selectivity of positivity.

Reference List

The Psychology of Aging. (2009) University of Southern California. .

F. De Fruyt, R.R. McCrae, Z. Szirmak, & J. Nagy (2004). The Five-factor Personality

Inventory as a measure of the Five-factor Model: Belgian, American, and Hungarian comparisons with the NEO-PI-R. NCBI Vol. 11 (3), 207-15.

Belsky, J. (1999). The Psychology… [read more]

Death Stats One of the Problems Data Analysis Chapter

… Death Stats

One of the problems that can be examined in this data is whether life expectancy in England and Wales has increased or decreased overall over the past decade. Both of the presentations of data above help to examine this data. The bar graphs very clearly demonstrate how dramatically the number of deaths in the highest age group especially have been decreased, likely due to medical improved interventions. The mean age of death amongst the population for which data was given, however, dropped only slightly. This must be intercepted carefully; the bar graphs make it clear that a change has occurred even if the averages do not indicate a major change, but it must be remembered that the data sets only include individuals that dies between the ages of 45 and 69. Even within this population, the mean age of death has decreased slightly, and the lower absolute numbers in each category between 1998 and 2008 mean that more people are surviving to 70 and beyond.

The data was likely originally collected through medical records and death records logged with various officials. Deaths are recorded as a matter of policy, making the data something the government would automatically have in its possession in most cases. Data was likely culled from these sources, then, and in fact it is likely that a running tally of certain information is kept and fairly regularly updated from incoming death records as hospitals and other medical personnel report them. A frequently updated database would make it incredibly easy for anyone with access to this database to view the original data and its totals. If such a database is not maintained, collating and totaling this data would have been much more time consuming, but would still have been fairly straightforward in… [read more]

Strong Issue Term Paper

… He saw prisoners tortured, shot and worked to death by the thousands, their money and property stolen and their lives ended suddenly and with maximum brutality. In April 1939, a typhus epidemic in Buchenwald that spread to the Germans in the surrounding districts led Hitler to issue an order that all Jews who had visas to leave the country would be released from the camps. Bettleheim noted the irony of inmates who "began thinking of their tormentor as their savior," but he was fortunate to escape to America before Hitler issued his Final Solution order (Pollak, p. 89). Once he and his family escaped, of course, he did everything possible to warn the Allied nations of the true situation in Germany and what was really happening in the camps.

Most people in history did not even regard death as an evil but as a passport into the afterlife, which they hoped would be better. This was particularly true in those times when only 5% of the population lived to age sixty and the majority died in childhood. In that situation, humanity had lower expectations and a more stoic attitude about suffering and death, as in the case in poor countries today. Perhaps science will advance in the future to the point where poverty, suffering, disease and death will become extinct on earth, and humans in the centuries ahead will move out into space and encounter other advanced civilizations. No one can know this with any certainty, but it may very well be possible, at least to the degree that it would be better to take a gamble on the future being an improvement on the present. Given that this possibility exists, then it will not do to simply take a blase attitude toward death and ultimate extinction -- insofar as these ideas are something more than cynical philosophical poses.


Bauman, Z. (2003). Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds. Polity Press.

Benatar, D. (2204). "Why It Is Better Never to Come into Existence" in D. Benatar (ed). Life, Death and Meaning. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Lenman,… [read more]

Death by Thomas Nagel Essay

… Philosophy

Nagel says that the most serious difficulty with the view that death is always an evil is determining whether death is (always) misfortunate given the human limitation of mortality. He raises a question of how possible a possibility (in… [read more]

Puritan Life Was Heavily Contaminated Research Paper

… The funeral is used as a metaphor for this loss and due to its association with death. She is present for the funeral, signifying her ability to watch herself slip in to this new state of existence. She is the subject of the funeral, as well as a participant. She "feels" the service rather than experiencing it. The death mentioned in this poem marks a psychological change of mental state and although it may appear unorthodox, it continues to follow the puritan belief that nothing can be done to change one's destiny. According to puritan theology, a person's life is pre-determined, denying them the ability to change the path they are on, which can be seen in the poem. As the narrator states, "and when they all were seated, a service like a drum kept beating, beating, till I thought my mind was going numb." Here, the reader can feel the narrator's involuntary journey to insanity. By the end of the poem, she sees herself as "some strange race," marking the end of her transformation in to a sort of reclusive oddity and leaving her old self behind and deceased.

These three poems all describe death in different ways. The first mentions an un-known transcendence to the afterlife that is terribly interrupted by an insect. It marks the physical process that is brought on by death and brings the narrator face-to-face with her own mortality. The second poem describes a spiritual yet involuntary process that occurs when a person dies. It is a peaceful transition from life to death and represents a person that has lived a full and satisfying life. The third and final poem explains a mental death, one that takes place while the person is still breathing. It explores the dangers of solitary confinement and suggests that death may occur when the heart… [read more]

God and Good Death Concept Essay

… Those providing treatment for whatever malady is creating the reasons for the suicide consideration are armed with volumes of information. Additionally, the afflicted patient has his or her own quality of life issues in her own consciousness to be of assistance.

It is the third prong of the analysis voluntariness that causes the most concern. Voluntariness is unfortunately a state of mind and, as such, it is impossible to ever be sure. State of mind is a purely personal thing and so impossible to measure but the physical expression of voluntariness is easier to ascertain.

In the legal arena consent is often a determining factor. It comes into play in determining the difference between theft and loans. It is the difference in determining whether an act is "having sex" or rape. Someone society finds a way to make a determination in these situations so why not in the case of assisted suicide?

The legality of assisted suicide is likely to remain a hotly contested issue for many years. There are a variety of philosophies on both sides of the issue and some are irreconcilable. Nevertheless, in a society that professes the individual right to choose some form of legal assisted suicide should be available as an option. Through legalization adequate counseling can be provided to insure that the person requesting the suicide has the requisite capacity to decide, is fully informed, and is doing so voluntarily. Finally, legalization would insure that the process was being done under the guidance and control of medical professionals trained in the procedure. This combination of personnel would create the situation long sought by philosophers of providing the "good death." The debates will continue but at least those seeking relief will be in control of their own destiny. (Frey)

Works Cited

Frey, R.G., and Wellman, Christopher Heath. A Companion to Applied Ethics. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2005. [read more]

Epicurus on the Fear of Death Research Paper

… Epicurus on the Fear of Death

You know, it's really very peculiar. To be mortal is the most basic human experience and yet man has never been able to accept it, grasp it, and behave accordingly. Man doesn't know how… [read more]

Mental Aging Journal

… Mental aging is a natural process where as age increases, mental abilities tend to decline. It is however generally believed that higher mental activity or exercise to lead to better performance of mental faculties as age increases. The article chosen for this paper tests this hypothesis to finally reveal that there is no significant evidence to indicate optimistic results of mental exercise. The article titled, "Mental Exercise and Mental Aging-Evaluating the Validity of the "Use It or Lose It" Hypothesis, is written by Timothy A. Salthouse for both the sophisticated academia and the student of psychology. The branch of psychology that deals with aging is known as Geriatric psychology.

The article presents its hypothesis, limitations, data and conclusion very clearly and explains the limitations and reasons for conclusion effectively. The author examines various previous study and shows why there had been an optimistic view of mental exercise before. The article is quite lengthy, around 84 pages, but it consists of very useful information and is hence worth reading, the various headings found in the article are as follows:


Investigating the Mental activity hypothesis

Training Interventions

Comparisons of pre-existing groups

Special Reports of mental activity


These are the main headings and some headings are followed by sub-headings to clearly identify the different sections in the article.

The author writes the hypothesis clearly and the hypothesis is as follows: "…the

Rate of age-related decline in measures of cognitive functioning will be less pronounced for people who are more mentally active, or, equivalently, that the cognitive differences among people who vary in level of mental activity will be greater with increased age." (p.1)

In my own words, the hypothesis states that the rate at which mental aging would occur in an individual is indirectly proportional to the level of mental exercise that the adult had been engaged in during his life. Higher the level of mental activity, slower would be the rate of mental aging.

The article itself is an amalgamation of analyses of various previous studies. The author himself did not carry out a study but presents data collected from secondary sources. The population for these studies varied with most consisting of older people while some even had college students and younger population for comparison purposes. In some studies two groups of older individuals were compared and in some only self-reported data was used which again had… [read more]

Caregiving to Elderly People Essay

… It would help them to provide a caregiver from the same ethnical background who understands the culture and rituals of the certain ethnical background. The strategy would be organizing some social groups including caregivers and elderly people sharing same ethnical background and language. It could be more beneficial for them to exchanging ideas than being lectured. Therefore, they should be talking, explaining their feelings and experiences during these social work groups.

These classes for the caregivers should be given at the conference rooms of the Hope Hospice to provide a high attendance and opportunity to experiment the theories given during the theoretical sessions. Elderly caregiving is difficult not only for the caregiver but also the elder person. Therefore, some collaborative classes should be projected with counselors and psychologists.

The meeting is going to take place at 21st of October between 1 pm and 2pm at Hope Hospice Community Room. The participants will be enlightened in the aspects of physical and mental changes of elderly people as well as the quality of caregiving and caregiver's physical and psychological states. The counseling service of the Hope Hospice would provide lectures how to deal with cognitive and perceptual aspects of aging.

The expected outcome of this project is to provide better and more prepared caregivers for the elder people as a result of rapidly growing age related industries.


Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Alzheimer's disease and Other Dementias" American Psychiatric Association. October 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-28. [read more]

Death and Dying the Last Lecture a Video Essay

… ¶ … Life According to the Last Lecture

It is difficult to conceptualize and verbalize those things which should be seen as most important to us in life. This is, of course, a deeply subjective discussion and one highly subject to changes in perspective as one goes through various stages of one's life. The terminal stage though is one which imposes perhaps the greatest demand for introspection, for evaluation and for reflection on how the life behind one stacks up to the life which one perceived ahead of him so many years ago. This seems to be the challenge at the center of Pausch's () sobering and simultaneously affirming meditation on death.

Indeed, Pausch provides us with a compelling meditation on the cusp of his own tragically young and impending death that centers on the identification of those things which truly matter. As expected and understood, Pausch spends considerable focus on the importance of his wife and family. In his perspective, these constituted his highest priority, his legacy and his purpose on earth. But this resolution was not in and of itself satisfying for the professor, lecturer and author. Instead, he sought a way to validate himself more personally and directly, and in such a manner that the priorities of greatest importance could be reiterated for his children as they became old enough to understand them.

In light of this self-imposed task, Pausch would arrive at one major ambition that seems to be repeated throughout his text, which is that one should remain committed to the ambitions and fantasies that form during childhood. To this end, Pausch may be seen as a lucky man. While we are troubled by the arbitrary misfortune that would strike down a smart, attractive and powerful man during his prime years, Pausch insists that his priorities have allowed him to be completely fulfilled even on the cusp of death. He claims that "whatever my accomplishments, all of the things I loved were rooted in the… [read more]

Euthanasia: The Good Death You Matter Essay

… ¶ … Euthanasia: The Good Death

"You matter because you are you.

You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until… [read more]

American Psychological Association/Adult Development and Aging Research Proposal

… American Psychological Association/Adult Development and Aging

The American Psychological Association as we know it today is structured as a collection of special interest divisions. When it was formed in 1945 at the end of WWII, it contained 19 charter divisions. Division 20, which turned out to be the first expansion division of APA, was formed by a group of psychologists who felt there was a need for a new division that dealt with adulthood and old age (Marsiske, 2008).

Those who belong to the APA's Division 20 represent psychologists with a wide range of interests that are related to aging, including direct service, academia and research. This division distributes a quarterly newsletter, which includes announcements of meetings, grant offers and jobs. It also has a publication that is directed towards students which details the mission of the division, lists its activities and databases and provides an online membership application (Adult Development and Aging, 2009).

People that are 65 years old and older are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. By the year 2030 it is estimated that older adults will make up 20% of our… [read more]

Tolstoy and Chekhov Essay

… ¶ … Death of Ivan Ilych" and Ward No. 6"

An analysis of "The Death of Ivan Ilych" and "Ward No. 6" reveals that death is a critical concept in both. While Ivan Ilyich and Dr. Andrei Yefimich are similar… [read more]

Aging as a Vulnerable Population Thesis

… Senior Citizens as a Vulnerable Population

In recent years there has been a change in the perception and understanding of the ageing population and what it means to be an elderly or senior citizen. While many assume that the elderly… [read more]

Death and Dying - Euthanasia the Ethical Thesis

… Death & Dying - Euthanasia


Since the inception of medicine, the most fundamental concept guiding physicians in the ethical practice of medicine has been the traditional principle of "do no harm" expressed in the… [read more]

Oregon Death With Dignity Act Research Proposal

… Oregon Dignity

Oregon's Death With Dignity Act (1994)

In 1994, the Oregon legislature passed Measure 16 of the state's pre-existent Death With Dignity Act. Designed to protect and ensure the medical rights of the terminally ill, the measure was approved by a very slim majority through public referendum, establishing a standard by which physicians may assist, without fear of legal reprisal, in the termination of life for patients who desire an immediate cessation of pain due to intractable and fatal conditions. One of the bill's key segments, section 127.885, indicates that "no person shall be subject to civil or criminal liability or professional disciplinary action for participating in good faith compliance," with the conditions set forth in the measure. (Oregon, 7) This is to indicate that for physicians adhering to the parameters allowing for the administering of life-suspending procedures as set forth in the legislation, the State of Oregon may take no retaliatory action. Such legislation would be the first of its kind in the United States, though it has yet to achieve any genuine penetration to precedent on the federal level.

Though suicide, as an autonomous and self-executed act, is no longer considered a felony, thus removing a sociological obligation to prosecute anybody in the peripheral sequence of such… [read more]

Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man Term Paper

… ¶ … Tuesdays with Morrie: An old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson by Mitch Albom. Specifically it will discuss the essence of aging portrayed in the book and existential psychology. Albom's book is an emotional look at… [read more]

Lack of Stimulation in the Elderly Term Paper

… ¶ … stimulation in nursing homes for the purpose of helping residents remain active. The writer, who has worked in nursing homes for the past 27 years has experienced first hand the negative impact that lack of stimulation has had… [read more]

Policy on the Oregon Death With Dignity Act Term Paper

… ¶ … death with dignity is a contentious issue with opposition in courts and in the public. The California Compassionate Choices Act would allow those diagnosed with a terminal illness to choose to end their life with dignity, including choosing physician-assisted suicide. The bill recently failed, but it will certainly return to the ballot in a different form. However, similar measures in many other states have failed, including Michigan, and the only state to currently allow death with dignity is Oregon. Congress has passed laws allowing patients to choose to refuse certain medical care.

End of life issues are complicated. Indeed modern medical practices have improved care and further complicate the issues of when and where a person ends their life. Many prominent medical cases indicate the difficulty of making these decisions, including Karen Quinlan, Elizabeth Bouvia, Robert Wendland, and most recently, Terri Schiavo.

Social workers must be cognizant of the ethical and moral considerations of these difficult choices, and cultural practices and beliefs are a major factor in death with dignity choices.

The Oregon Death with Dignity Act as added to the controversy, but was recently upheld by the Supreme Court. The law has brought death with dignity into the public view, and writings by David Gil continue to inform the public and inflame the issue in some people's minds. The act attempts to give terminally ill or incapacitated patients the choice to die with dignity, when they choose to die. Many European countries have laws defining "terminal" and other conditions, and have condoned euthanasia for many years. A majority of Americans believe a person has the right to end their life in certain situations, and the Oregon law confirms this, as there are more elderly suicides in Oregon than other states.

Two of the most well-known advocates of physician-assisted suicide are Dr. Jack Kevorkian and Dr. Timothy Quill. Moral… [read more]

Nursing Death and Dying Term Paper

… 137). Many other cultures, including the Jewish culture and Catholics, believe the dying person must confess their sins on their deathbed, to clear the pathway to Heaven and assure their soul's repose in Heaven.

In most Arabic countries, their beliefs on death and dying are closely related to the writings in the Qur'an. Muslims also believe in reincarnation or life after death, and that the dying person must prepare for death. However, they also believe there is a barrier between death and delivery to Heaven, and some souls cannot cross that barrier. "According to traditional accounts, once separated from the body the soul begins a journey heavenward. Modeled on the mystical journey taken by the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem to heaven, the soul is escorted by the angel Gabriel through seven layers of heaven" (Kramer, 1988, p. 160). Many Catholics believe some souls remain in purgatory for eternity, never reaching Heaven or Hell. However, Muslims believe souls will reach the seven layers of heaven or burn in Hell, there is no in between. Muslims must also prepare for death, it is quite important to them. They believe, "The best way to prepare for dying is to practice the sacred art of dying while alive. Practicing fana is to concentrate one's purpose on loving God everywhere, in everyone, and on maintaining recollection upon God's truth" (Kramer, 1988, p. 163). Thus, most Arabic cultures spend their lives trying to live spiritual lives to prepare themselves for death.

Humans are not the only species that have elaborate and varied beliefs about life and death. Even animals have been seen creating elaborate graves for their dead. For example, elephants in the wild have been observed burying their own dead and even other animals, and covering them with leaves, mud, and dirt (Aiken, 2001, p. 127). It is important, even vital, to understand the beliefs and practices of other cultures when it comes to death and dying, so that the nurse does not offend family and friends as their loved one passes on.


Aiken, L.R. (2001). Dying, death, and bereavement (4th ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Kramer, K.P. (1988). The sacred art… [read more]

Graying of America Term Paper

… Aging and Politics

One definition of politics is "the process for determining who gets what, when, and how." Of course, politics don't exist without people, and the average age of the people who populate the United States is changing. Due to the combination of the "baby boomer" generation approaching retirement and a significant increase in how long people live, older people are going to become a larger and larger segment of the U.S. population. From 1990 to 2000 the number of people from ages 45 to 54 increased from about 19 million to about 38 million. 38 million people is a large constituency, and the aging of America will continue for decades.

Older people in the U.S. have already discovered political clout as evidenced by organizations such as the "Gray Panthers" and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

As people of retirement age make up more and more of the country's population, fewer people will be available… [read more]

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