A good death – can the concept be applied to anatomy?

Smith, Claire F, Alderton, Dasha L, Clifford, Katie M and Wells, Geoffrey (2020) A good death – can the concept be applied to anatomy? Anatomical Sciences Education. ISSN 1935-9772

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Abstract

The importance of patient‐centered decisions is embedded throughout clinical practice. The principle that the patient is at the center of all decisions has helped form the contemporary approach to death and dying. The concept of a ‘good death’ will naturally mean different things to different individuals, but is based on the foundation of being pain free, comfortable and able to make informed decisions. Potential donors are faced with many personal, ethical and often spiritual considerations when they come to think about their wishes after death. One consideration is that of a ‘good death’. This article explores how the concept of a ‘good death’ may be applied to anatomy. Where first person consent is in place, the motivating factors frequently include the wish for others to learn from the donation, and this notion may form part of the ‘good death’ for the donor. Such motivations may impact positively on how students feel about dissecting and may provide comfort, assuaging feelings of discomfort and allowing students to focus on anatomical learning. For donors where second person consent is in place, the concept of a ‘good death’ must depend on whether the individual wanted to donate their body in the first instance. The notion of a ‘bad death’ may also be considered with body donation where no consent for donation is in place. This article proposes that there is ultimately a place for the concept that a ‘good death’ may involve an individual donating their body to medical education.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Division of Medical Education
Depositing User: Cherie Elody
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 07:04
Last Modified: 19 May 2020 07:04
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/91304

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