Dying is never beautiful, but there are beautiful moments: qualitative interviews with those affected on the subject of ‘good dying’

Heimerl, Katharina; Schuchter, Patrick; Egger, Barbara; Lang, AlexanderORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1952-5064; Frankus, ElisabethORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9954-9287; Prieth, Sonja; Kaelin, Lukas; Dinges, Stefan; Wegleitner, Klaus and Reitinger, Elisabeth (2022) Dying is never beautiful, but there are beautiful moments: qualitative interviews with those affected on the subject of ‘good dying’. Mortality, pp. 1-19.

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Abstract or Table of Contents

The concept of the good death has been widely considered. However, the perspectives of those affected have not received sufficient attention. In our empirical study, we conducted interviews with 32 people who were confronted with dying; these people were either terminally ill, elderly or else were bereaved carers. The findings show that for this group of people, dying is not just a physical process, but also a psychological, social and spiritual one. From the perspective of those affected, dying is never beautiful, in particular because of the associated pain and suffering. At the same time, people confronted with dying do experience beautiful moments. In the stories they tell of these beautiful moments, it is a beauty emanating from a sense of elevated emotion – of moral emotion – rather than any aesthetic beauty. We conclude that good care of the dying enables beautiful moments and creates reflective spaces for those affected to express what beauty means to them. We show that the public discourse differs significantly from the perspective of those affected and more efforts need to be made to include their voices.

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Keywords: good dying, good death, beautiful dying, qualitative interviews, palliative care
Funders: Oesterreichische Nationalbank Jubiläumsfonds
Research Units: Science, Technology and Social Transformation
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Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 12:47
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 12:47
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/13576275.2022.2034773
ISSN: 1469-9885
URI: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/6058

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