Course Description

Dying and death are a part of the human life journey. Yet some suggest that our society denies death thus limiting our opportunities to discuss dying and death and related topics. This introductory course aims to challenge this by bringing into view how dying and death are socially constructed. While focusing primarily on the Canadian context, we will touch on other cultural norms and mores to provide contrast. We will also discuss timely and relevant topics including: medical assistance in dying, approaches to dealing with death, body disposal and dealing with death and social and cultural attitudes to dying and death using examples from current events.

Course Details

By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • Explain how dying and death are socially constructed in the Canadian context
  • Define mourning, grieving, and bereavement
  • Compare and contrast medical assistance in dying, physician-assisted suicide, suicide, and euthanasia
  • Compare and contrast types of death (brain death, cardiac death, clinical death, social death, etc.)
  • Describe how bodies are disposed of in Canada and the legal regulations and implications
  • Discuss funeral processes and practices in the Canadian context




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