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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: Dr. S. Koehn

"This course will address contemporary issues as they pertain to the psychosocial aspects of individuals and families living with life-threatening illness and/or the death of a family member, with a focus on older adults. It will be of particular value to caregivers of the terminally ill and of older adults in long-term care. However, it challenges all of us to think more critically about issues commonly encountered in, and often sensationalized by, the media.

Topics of enquiry include but are not limited to advance directives and living wills, the right to die/physician-assisted suicide, palliative care and hospice, dying at home vs. an institution, life-sustaining technology and DNR orders, burial rites, the meaning of death and the afterlife, and grief and bereavement. Considerations of ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, stigma and cultural values will be explored." 

For more information see GERO 406's  Canvas page or course outline.

Group presentation

Short papers (articles and books)

Researching and writing an essay

  • Start Your Research Here - SFU guide to researching and writing a term paper
  • Do you already have a good article (HINT: as in from your reading list) 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


  • Macmillan encyclopedia of death and dying [print or online
  • Handbook of family resilience 
    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

Web sites

Palliative Care and Hospice Associations


United States



Other sites