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Bereavement experiences following a death under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act

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dc.contributor.advisor Moran, Patricia B.
dc.creator Srinivasan, Erica G.
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-09T18:03:33Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-09T18:03:33Z
dc.date.copyright 2009-06-12
dc.date.issued 2009-07-09T18:03:33Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/12006
dc.description Graduation date: 2010 en
dc.description.abstract Oregon residents with a terminal illness have had the option to use aid-in-dying under the Oregon Death with Dignity Act (DWDA) since 1997. The DWDA allows terminally ill Oregonians to make a request for lethal dosages of medication, prescribed by physicians for the purpose of self-administering to end one's life. Many studies have been published on patient motivations for seeking hastened death, experiences of physicians, nurses, and hospice workers with persons who have died using aid-in-dying, and attitudes of the general public, medically ill persons, and healthcare professionals toward aid-in-dying, yet virtually no research has explored the experience of family members who have had a relative seek or use aid-in-dying. This qualitative study explored the bereavement experiences of persons who had a family member die using aid-in-dying during the past three years. Twenty-two participants were interviewed about their bereavement experiences using a structured interview. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using Grounded Theory methods. Themes that emerged from the data revealed that aid-in-dying allows for the opportunity to say goodbye to one's loved one, and to plan and prepare for the death. Grief was eased by knowing that aid-in-dying was the loved one's choice, that the mode of death was legal, and that love ones avoided prolonged suffering. Personal and family agreement with loved ones decision to use aid-in-dying also eased grief. Conflict arose from mixed feelings or disagreement with loved ones decision to use aid-in-dying. Grief reconciliation from conflict included expressing feelings to others, religious support for aid-in-dying, thoughts that the loved one's death was imminent, thoughts that using aid-in-dying was what the loved one wanted, and thoughts that the timing was appropriate because had loved one's health further declined they may have risked being able to meet the law's requirement to self-administer the prescription and would not have been able to die using aid-in-dying. en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.subject Bereavement en
dc.subject Grief en
dc.subject Oregon en
dc.subject Death en
dc.subject Dignity en
dc.subject Aid-in-dying en
dc.subject physician-assisted en
dc.subject suicide en
dc.subject.lcsh Assisted suicide -- Oregon -- Psychological aspects en
dc.subject.lcsh Oregon. Oregon Death with Dignity Act en
dc.subject.lcsh Bereavement -- Oregon en
dc.title Bereavement experiences following a death under Oregon's Death with Dignity Act en
dc.type Thesis/Dissertation en
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Human Development and Family Studies en
dc.degree.level Doctoral en
dc.degree.discipline Health and Human Sciences en
dc.degree.grantor Oregon State University en
dc.contributor.committeemember Hooker, Karen
dc.contributor.committeemember Levenson, Rick
dc.contributor.committeemember Vuchinich, Sam


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