ERIC Number: EJ719798
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct
Reference Count: 165
Becky's Legacy: Personal and Professional Reflections on Loss and Hope
Werth, James L., Jr.
Death Studies, v29 n8 p687-736 Oct 2005
The author, a psychologist who has been specializing in end-of-life issues for over a decade, uses the death of his fiancee (Becky), following the withdrawal of a ventilator and the refusal to place her back on the machine, to discuss research and analysis of end-of-life care in the United States. After briefly discussing his own background, Becky's history, and their relationship, he details Becky's last weeks of life and the first weeks of his grieving process. This story provides a background for discussing end-of-life issues including what constitutes a "good death," concerns about aggressive treatment and the cost of care near the end of life, prognosis, advance directives, and demographic issues. There is also a major section on psychosocial issues that arise when a person is dying. The author concludes with a set of "lessons learned" as a result of his relationship with Becky and going through the dying process with her and her family.
Descriptors: Grief, Death, Self Determination, Decision Making, Coping, Emotional Response, Cancer, Legal Responsibility, Depression (Psychology), Anxiety, Personality Traits, Caregivers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States