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Thanatology: An Understanding of Death and Dying

Thanatology: An Understanding of Death and Dying

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Thanatology: An Understanding of Death and Dying

Comprimento:
84 página
53 minutos
Editora:
Lançado em:
Feb 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781304880703
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

Thanatology, the description or study of death and dying and the psychological mechanisms of dealing with them. Thanatology is concerned with the notion of death as popularly perceived and especially with the reactions of the dying, from whom it is felt much can be learned about dealing with death’s approach.
Editora:
Lançado em:
Feb 8, 2014
ISBN:
9781304880703
Formato:
Livro

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Thanatology - Emmanuel U. Ojiaku

Thanatology: An Understanding of Death and Dying

THANATOLOGY

Thanatology

The word is derived from the Greek language. In Greek mythology, Thanatos (death) is the personification of death. The English suffix -ology derives from the Greek suffix -logia (speaking). Thanatology is the scientific study of death. It investigates the mechanisms and forensic aspects of death, such as bodily changes that accompany death and the post-mortem period, as well as wider social aspects related to death. It is primarily an interdisciplinary study offered as a course of study at numerous colleges and universities. Thanatology is recognized as the science of death that involves end-of-life care and the study of the epistemology of death, dying and bereavement, such as the meaning of death and dying is.

Field of Study

As an interdisciplinary study, thanatology relies on collaboration with many different fields of study. Death is a universal human concern; it has been examined and re-examined in a wide variety of disciplines, dating back to pre-history. Some of these fields of study are academic in nature; others have evolved throughout history as cultural traditions.

The humanities are, along with social sciences, perhaps, the very oldest disciplines to explore death. Historically, the average human had a significantly lower standard of living and lifespan in the past than he or she would today. Wars, famine, and disease always kept death close at hand. Artists, authors, and poets often employed the universality of death as a motif in their works; this trend continues today.

The social sciences are often involved on both the individual and on the cultural level. The individual level is primarily covered by psychology, the study of individual minds. Avoiding (or, in some cases, seeking) death is an important human motive; the fear of death affects many individuals' actions.

Several social sciences focus on the broad picture, and they frequently encounter the issue of death. Sociology is the study of social rules. Sub-disciplines within sociology, such as the sociology of disaster, focus more narrowly on the issue of how societies handle death. Likewise, cultural anthropology and archeology concern themselves with how current and past cultures deal with death, respectively. Society and culture are similar concepts, but their scopes are different. A society is an interdependent community, while culture is an attribute of a community: the complex web of shifting patterns that link individuals together. In any case, both cultures and societies must deal with death; the various cultural studies (many of which overlap with each other) examine this response using a variety of approaches.

Thanatology is a section of Forensic Sciences. The biological study of death helps explain what happens, psycosocially, to individuals in the moment of dying and after-death bodily changes, so that the events that took place at the time of death and post-mortem can be clarified. In Psychiatry, the medical application of psychological principles and therapeutic drugs is also involved; many licensed psychiatrists are required to take courses on thanatology during training. Medical ethics are also an important area of study, especially on the issue of euthanasia (right to die).

There is also a branch of thanatology called music-thanatology which focuses on the use of music vigils to help the individual and their family. A vigil consists of one or a team of music-thanatologists who visit the dying person. They play the harp and sing music based on changes that they observe in patient physiology as well as in interpersonal family dynamics. The music tends toward the meditative, and can be very helpful to the patient and others that are present. Often after a vigil, the dying person is more relaxed, less agitated, and is in less pain. Most music-thanatologists are certified by the Music-Thanatology Association International, and they use the initials CM-Th to designate certification by this professional organization. Many hospitals and hospices now have professional music-thanatologists on their staff.

DEATH

Death

The word death comes from Old English deað, which in turn comes from Proto-Germanic *dauþaz (reconstructed by etymological analysis). This comes from the Proto-Indo-European stem *dheu- meaning the Process, act, condition of dying.

Death is the cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include biological aging (senescence), predation, malnutrition, disease, suicide, murder and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. There is no scientific evidence that suggests consciousness survives the death of an organism.

In human societies, the nature of death and humanity's

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