Fragile Lives: Death, Dying and Care
Death is inevitable, yet in the West we often behave as if we will live forever. So when we meet someone who is dying, their fragility is a sharp and often unwelcome reminder of our own mortality. How does this affect the way in which individuals, health professionals and social institutions deal with death and dying?
Beverley McNamara looks at death from a sociological perspective. Arguing that despite popular belief death does not make us equal, she shows that dying is a chaotic and uncertain process. Yet despite the disorderly manner in which people die, McNamara demonstrates that social and cultural patterns can be found in the way we approach dying, and the care of terminally ill people. She examines the medicalisation of care for the dying, attitudes of carers and the notion of the 'good death'. She also explores the euthanasia debate and the fear of cancer.
Drawing on wide-ranging qualitative reserach, Fragile Lives is a sensitive analysis of the social issues surrounding death. It is suitable for use as a student text on medical, nursing, social work, counselling, gerontology and sociology courses.
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acceptance advanced directives Anglo Australians approaching death associated with dying awareness awareness of dying belief biomedical body broader cancer patients cancer sufferers cent Chapter Chinese Australians Chinese Malaysian Cicely Saunders clinical complex contemporary society contemporary Western societies context cultural decision-making diagnosis discourse disease dying and death ethical ethnographic existential experience face of death facing death fear focus fragile lives health professionals hospice and palliative hospice movement individual inpatient hospice interactions interviewed issues Kellehear kind mainstream Mamie's Marnie meaning medicalisation moral nasia Northern Territory organisation pain palliative care community palliative care doctor palliative care nurses palliative care practitioners palliative care services palliative medicine particularly patient autonomy postmodern practice problem professional carers prognosis proposed responses sedation shared social sociological specialist spiritual stories strategies stress suggests symptoms talk terminally ill person Territory of Australia told treatment uncertainty understand voluntary euthanasia