Title

Power of Occupation for Death with Dignity

Presenter Information

Etsuko Odawara

Start Time

27-10-2007 9:30 AM

End Time

27-10-2007 11:00 AM

Abstract

Pollard offers some evidence for a positive answer to the question Is dying an occupation?‚ (2006, p.149). First, he suggests that dying people are intensely living, preparing for death and resolving the final life crisis (Despelder & Strickland, 1996). Second, he suggests that dying is social. Preparation for death is carried out based on decisions made by the dying and people closest to them, decisions and activities influenced by their cultural values and beliefs (Despelder & Strickland, 1996). Last, Pollard stresses that a “good death requires that the dying person’s occupational and social being is affirmed by themselves and by people around them.” This presentation shares the case of Hana (pseudonym), a 93-year-old Japanese woman who had resolved a life crisis after a stroke when she was 76 years old, but later had to deal with her approaching death. This was a part of larger ethnographic study of good aging, investigating the therapeutic experience both of the old woman Hana, those close to her, and her occupational therapist, Mari (pseudonym). Hana’s bodily functions declined gradually. Eventually, when further medical problems arose, she refused further medical treatment which would have required transfer to a hospital, choosing to remain in the geriatric facility. The people closest her, her daughter, her occupational therapist and her social worker, discussed her decision and, assuming she was beginning to prepare for death, respected her choice. During resolution of her previous life crisis after her stroke, Mari assisted Hana in developing a lifestyle consist with her previous one as a high status lady, through introducing and adapting role-appropriate traditional craftwork in occupational therapy. When the dying Hana wanted to finish some of her craftwork, which embodied who she was, Mari understood her choice and helped her to do so. Through preparing for death socially and spiritually, Hana was satisfied with her last days, as were the people closest to her, including her occupational therapist. This paper discusses how Hana and these people shared the Japanese concept OEisagiyoi shi‚ (death with dignity) and collaborated to make possible Hana’s good death.

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Oct 27th, 9:30 AM Oct 27th, 11:00 AM

Power of Occupation for Death with Dignity

Pollard offers some evidence for a positive answer to the question Is dying an occupation?‚ (2006, p.149). First, he suggests that dying people are intensely living, preparing for death and resolving the final life crisis (Despelder & Strickland, 1996). Second, he suggests that dying is social. Preparation for death is carried out based on decisions made by the dying and people closest to them, decisions and activities influenced by their cultural values and beliefs (Despelder & Strickland, 1996). Last, Pollard stresses that a “good death requires that the dying person’s occupational and social being is affirmed by themselves and by people around them.” This presentation shares the case of Hana (pseudonym), a 93-year-old Japanese woman who had resolved a life crisis after a stroke when she was 76 years old, but later had to deal with her approaching death. This was a part of larger ethnographic study of good aging, investigating the therapeutic experience both of the old woman Hana, those close to her, and her occupational therapist, Mari (pseudonym). Hana’s bodily functions declined gradually. Eventually, when further medical problems arose, she refused further medical treatment which would have required transfer to a hospital, choosing to remain in the geriatric facility. The people closest her, her daughter, her occupational therapist and her social worker, discussed her decision and, assuming she was beginning to prepare for death, respected her choice. During resolution of her previous life crisis after her stroke, Mari assisted Hana in developing a lifestyle consist with her previous one as a high status lady, through introducing and adapting role-appropriate traditional craftwork in occupational therapy. When the dying Hana wanted to finish some of her craftwork, which embodied who she was, Mari understood her choice and helped her to do so. Through preparing for death socially and spiritually, Hana was satisfied with her last days, as were the people closest to her, including her occupational therapist. This paper discusses how Hana and these people shared the Japanese concept OEisagiyoi shi‚ (death with dignity) and collaborated to make possible Hana’s good death.