Eric S. Langston
Death and Dying
Dr. John Raines
Response paper #2
February 21, 2011
As life progresses, one may suggest that the more we mature as adults, the more control
we gain over our lives. Although a measure of control is given to us as individuals, we never
achieve absolute control. There are many factors which contribute to us as attaining a certain
level of control; such as religion, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, age, and the list can go on.
Despite the fact that all of the prior characteristics play a role in how people define how they
control their lives, death is an attribute that we fail to embrace. Death has a way of humbling an
individual, causing one to realize that the control that we possess is limited. Throughout life, we
accept many things, whether right or wrong, but we as a society have a difficult time accepting
death and the effects that follow. Many may not reach pinnacles of success, wealth, nor
notoriety, but it is inevitable that we will all encounter death. Whether embraced nor not, death
will run its course. In class, we learned that Hospice care was an avenue by which many
individuals prepare themselves for the end of this cycle that we call life. This paper is intended to
conceptualize what the purpose of hospice care is and who it is for.
“Denial is the tool we use to gain back the impression of control, but it does not work.
We must directly confront the out of control that scares us.” Death causes us to realize how out
of control we are; death takes control out of our hands, and it causes us to accept death even
though it scares us. Many people die suddenly, for others death is a process which takes time to
run its course. If you do not die suddenly, then death becomes a journey in which many people
travel every day.
Hospice care was introduced to American society in the 1940s by Dame
Ceiceley Saunders, who wanted to respond to dying individuals. When a hospital is mentioned,