Maricopa Community Colleges  PSY156   19954-99999 
Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 03/28/95
PSY156 19954-99999 LEC 3 Credit(s) 3 Period(s)
Understanding Death and Dying
Designed to give the student an understanding of the research and theories of death, dying and the bereavement process. Prerequisites: None.
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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:
PSY156   19954-99999 Understanding Death and Dying
1. Describe current attitudes toward death and the factors which have lessened familiarity with it. (I)
2. Compare perspectives about death in preliterate cultures with those in the western world. (II)
3. Describe American Indian, traditional African, and Mexican perspectives on death. (II)
4. Describe the major concepts of death and immortality of the Hebrew tradition, Christianity and Eastern religions. (I, II, XIII)
5. Describe theoretical accounts of the development of a child's understanding of death. (III)
6. Describe health care for the dying in the modern hospital and in hospices. (IV)
7. Describe the adult person's experience of and patterns of coping with a life threatening illness. (V)
8. Describe the contemporary ethical issues confronting the medical profession when treating terminally ill patients. (VI)
9. List and describe the major legal issues which arise due to death. (VII)
10. Describe the variables which influence grief of survivors and coping mechanisms available to them. (VIII)
11. Describe the child's experience of and patterns of coping with death. (IX)
12. Describe the history and criticisms of the American funeral. (X)
13. Describe the major causes of deaths due to non-illness. (XI)
14. Describe the major types of suicide and the issues involved in prevention, intervention and postvention. (XII)
15. Describe the personal and social application of death education. (XIV)
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MCCCD Official Course Outline:
PSY156   19954-99999 Understanding Death and Dying
    I. Attitudes Toward Death
        A. Patterns of Death and Dying
          1. History
          2. Present Day
        B. Factors Lessening Familiarity with Dying and Death
        C. Indicators
        D. The Present Milieu
      II. Perspective on Death
          A. In Early and Preliterate Cultures
          B. Cultural Case Studies
          C. In Western Civilization
        III. Socialization
            A. Components of the Mature Concept of Death
            B. Child's Understanding of Death
            C. Source of Attitudes Toward Death
            D. Talking with Children about Death
          IV. Health Care Systems
              A. The Modern Hospital/Hospice
              B. Dealing With Dying
              C. Terminal Care
              D. Social Role of the Dying Patient
            V. Facing Death/ The Terminal Illness
                A. The Taboo of Terminal Illness
                B. Personal and Social Costs
                C. The Experience of Life-Threatening Illness
                D. Patterns of Coping
                  1. Mentally
                  2. Emotionally
                  3. Physically
                E. The Patient-Caregiver Relationship
                F. Therapies
                  1. Conventional
                  2. Unconventional
                G. Helping a Loved One Who is Dying
              VI. Medical Ethics
                  A. Truth Telling and the Terminal Patient
                  B. Informed Consent to Treatment
                  C. Choosing Death
                  D. Organ Transplantation
                  E. The Need for New Definitions of Death
                VII. The Law and Death
                    A. Living Wills
                    B. Organ Donation
                    C. The Death Certificate
                    D. The Coroner and the Medical Examiner
                    E. Autopsies
                    F. Body Disposition
                    G. Wills
                    H. Probate
                    I. Intestate Succession
                    J. Estate and Inheritance Taxes
                    K. Life Insurance and Death Benefits
                  VIII. Survivors
                      A. Perspectives on Grief
                      B. Bereavement, Grief and Mourning
                      C. The Experience of Grief
                      D. Variables Influencing Grief
                      E. Coping Mechanisms for Survivors
                    IX. Death in Children's Lives
                        A. Helping Children Cope with Changes and Loss
                        B. Attitudes Concerning Mortality
                        C. The Child's Perception of Illness
                        D. Patterns of Family Involvement with a Dying Child
                        E. The Child's Coping Mechanisms
                        F. Caring for the Terminally Ill Child
                        G. Confronting the Reality of a Dying Child
                        H. Children as Survivors of a Close Death
                      X. Last Rites/Funerals
                          A. Social Aspects
                          B. The American Funeral
                            1. History
                            2. Criticisms
                            3. Selecting Funeral Services
                            4. Alternatives
                          C. Body Disposition
                        XI. Encounters with Death
                            A. Risk Taking
                            B. Accidents
                            C. Disasters
                            D. Violence
                            E. War
                            F. Nuclear Threat
                            G. Stress
                          XII. Suicide
                              A. Comprehending Suicide
                              B. Types of Suicide
                              C. Contemplation
                              D. Prevention, Intervention and Postvention
                              E. Helping the Suicidal Person
                            XIII. Beyond Death/After Life
                                A. Death and Immortality
                                B. Near-Death Experiences
                                C. Death in the Psychedelic Experience
                                D. Beliefs About Death
                              XIV. Personal and Social Choices
                                  A. Exploring Death and Dying
                                  B. Societal Applications of Death Education
                                  C. Death in the Future
                                  D. Living with Death and Dying
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