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GERO 406: Death and Dying

For further assistance with your assignment, ask at the Belzberg Library Reference Desk or contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian for Gerontology (778.782.5043 or ) Monday to Thursday .

Course description

Instructor: Barry Worsfold

"The elderly are living longer than ever before, and as our population continues to age, we can expect to see increased interest in issues related to dying and death. Since the elderly consume a significant part of the health care system’s resources in their last five years of life, we must consider ways of dealing with the growing pressure they place on the system at the end of life. Until recently dying and death was rarely discussed or taught formally to students of health sciences. This course will try to provide a Canadian perspective on this issue and will use Canadian material, research and recorded experiences of Canadian authors." For more information see GERO 406's Canvas page or course outline.  If there are discrepancies between  information listed on this page and that in Canvas or instructor handouts, please refer to the latter.

Consult Services for distance education students guide if you are off-campus.

Book reviews

Books on the book review list will be on reserve. If a title is not currently available and you want to review an alternative book, you can:

  1. Find other SFU books on the topic (discuss your choice with your instructor if you are not sure it's appropriate). Sample subject headings include DeathAssisted suicide Terminal care
  2. Check at your local library: search other library catalogues or try the Outlook Online Catalogue for "single access point to the collections of 79 public and post-secondary libraries throughout British Columbia"
  3. Make an Interlibrary Loan request for the book you want. Hint: Look for books listed at the University of Alberta, as delivery from there is super-fast. 

Book Reviews guide (Library guide) includes sections for: "How to Find Book Reviews" and "How to Write Book Reviews"

Major paper (finding articles and books)

Researching and writing an essay

  • Start Your Research Here - Follow this SFU guide to researching and writing a term paper.   Step 1 is Select your topic: do so from the GERO 406 course material or from the associated readings in the modules. Once you have selected a topic, email your instructor ( for approval.  (See the January 11 Announcement in Canvas for more details.) Once you have an approved topic you can then proceed with Steps 2- 5 in the guide.
  • NEW! Navigating the Library Database for Gerontology Watch this three-minute SFU video to start finding resources for your gerontology research
  • Do you already have a good article (HINT: as in a reading from a module in Canvas) and want more? Try citation pearl-growing, as shown on this Youtube tutorial either using an EBSCO database like Ageline right below or using Google Scholar

Journal articles

You can also browse a major journal in the area, Omega: journal of death and dying


  • Dying and Death in Canada [print and older edition is online]
  • What dying people want: practical wisdom for the end of life [print]
  • Macmillan encyclopedia of death and dying [print or online] for understanding concepts
  • Handbook of family resilience [online] See part 4: Resilience, Loss and Grief
  • Handbook of thanatology: the essential body of knowledge for the study of death, dying, and bereavement [print or online]

Other titles

Field Interview

Learning log


Palliative Care and Hospice Associations


United States



Other sites