This course focuses on communication and the choices people make in the months and days leading up to dying, how this impacts the dying experience, and what this means for those they leave behind. Talking about dying and loss is frightening when we do not have the skills to do so with empathy and compassion. Regardless of whether we work in health-related or other fields, every one of us has or will encounter death and loss. How do we honor the choices of others and help create a meaningful and dignified experience for people going through this process? In this seminar, you will have the opportunity to explore your ideas and preconceptions about how people die and why they make the choices they do. Participants study culturally-relevant practices related to death and dying, specifically related to communication. Learning activities will include research and writing on topics related to dying, guided exercises in talking about end-of-life choices, and a research project. Students will explore the impacts that talking about dying has on the health of individuals, communities, and societies.
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