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Death and Dying

Study Course Description

Course Description Statuss:Approved
Course Description Version:7.00
Study Course Accepted:03.10.2023
Study Course Information
Course Code:HZK_031LQF level:Level 7
Credit Points:2.00ECTS:3.00
Branch of Science:Philosophy; Philosophical AnthropologyTarget Audience:Medicine
Study Course Supervisor
Course Supervisor:Uldis Vēgners
Study Course Implementer
Structural Unit:Faculty of Social Sciences
The Head of Structural Unit:Mārtiņš Daugulis
Contacts:Dzirciema street 16, Rīga, szfatrsu[pnkts]lv
Study Course Planning
Full-Time - Semester No.1
Lectures (count)6Lecture Length (academic hours)2Total Contact Hours of Lectures12
Classes (count)10Class Length (academic hours)2Total Contact Hours of Classes20
Total Contact Hours32
Study course description
Preliminary Knowledge:
Not necessary.
To introduce students to philosophical approaches to death and dying, focusing on metaphysical, epistemological, existential, ethical and social questions concerning this topic.
Topic Layout (Full-Time)
No.TopicType of ImplementationNumberVenue
1Introduction into studying death and dyingLectures1.00auditorium
2Metaphysical and epistemological aspects of death and dyingLectures1.00auditorium
3Definition and criteria of deathClasses1.00auditorium
4Near-death experiencesClasses1.00auditorium
5Existential aspects of death and dyingLectures1.00auditorium
6Fear of death and the meaning of lifeClasses1.00auditorium
7Immortality and the value of deathClasses1.00auditorium
8Ethical aspects of death and dying ILectures1.00auditorium
9Ethical aspects of death and dying IILectures1.00auditorium
10Good dying: how dying people feel about death and dyingClasses1.00auditorium
12Euthanasia and assisted suicideClasses1.00auditorium
13Posthumous harmClasses1.00auditorium
14Social aspects of death and dyingLectures1.00other
15Attitude of medical professionals towards death and dyingClasses1.00auditorium
16Various social and cultural attitudes towards death and dyingClasses1.00auditorium
Unaided Work:
1. Students have to read the compulsory literature and the reading materials for the seminars. Before every seminar students have to read a dedicated reading material and must be prepared to answer questions about the main concepts, ideas and arguments of that reading material. 2. Students independently prepare for the examination about the topics from lectures and seminars. 3. At the end of the course students take course evaluation survey on the e-studies.
Assessment Criteria:
1. Participation in seminars individually or in a group (60% from the final grade). Students actively participate in all seminar, understand and can formulate the ideas expressed in the seminar reading material, productively engage in discussions about the issues of the semianr topic, argue their position, use appropriate terminology in discussions, as well as refer to the seminar reading material in discussions. 2. Examination (40% from the final grade). Students take a written examination, in which they have to show the acquired knowledge about the topics covered in the course.
Final Examination (Full-Time):Exam
Final Examination (Part-Time):
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge:Students know and understand the major philosophical topics and issues concerning death and dying (metaphysical, epistemological, existential, ethical and cultural), as well as the main concepts related to these issues (death, euthanasia, assisted suicide, posthumous harm, social death). They will also be able to evaluate the importance of philosophical topics concerning death and dying in the context of health care.
Skills:Students can describe and compare different approaches to death and dying, form their position and provide arguments, analyse and critically evaluate topic related philosophical issues in health and social care. Students apply the acquired knowledge to evaluate their own and societal attitudes toward death and dying people.
Competencies:Students are able to understand, interpret and analytically evaluate philosophical aspects of death and dying. Using the acquired knowledge, students are able to participate in academic and public discussions concerning issues of death and dying. Students are also be able to analyse a variety of problems related to the health care practices concerning death and dying.
Required Reading
1Cholbi, M. and Timmerman, T., eds. 2021. Exploring the Philosophy of Death and Dying: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives. New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
2Cutter, M. A. G. 2019. Death: A Reader. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
3Kiblere-Rosa, E. 2012. Aizejot - mirstošo cilvēku mācība tuviniekiem, ārstiem un garīdzniekiem. Rīga: Lietusdārzs. (akceptējams izdevums) (latviešu plūsmas studentiem)
4Luper, S., ed. 2014. The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death. 1st ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Additional Reading
1Cholbi, M. 2021. Suicide. In: Zalta, E. N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
2DeGrazia, D. 2021. The Definition of Death. In: Zalta E. N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. [26.03.2022.]
3Dranseika, Vilius, and Ivars Neiders. 2018. “In Defense of a Pluralistic Policy on the Determination of Death.” Ethics & Bioethics 8 (3–4): 179–88. [26.03.2022.]
4Hasker, W., and Taliaferro, C. 2019. Afterlife. In: Zalta, E. N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. [26.03.2022.]
5Knepper, T. D., Bregman, L., and Gottschalk, M., eds. 2019. Death and Dying: An Exercise in Comparative Philosophy of Religion. Cham: Springer.
6Luper, S. 2021. Death. In: Zalta, E. N., ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. [viewed 26.03.2022.]
Other Information Sources
1International Association for the Philosophy of Death and Dying.