Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Jessica Toft

Abstract

Deathbed Visions (DBVs) are intensely personal, powerful, comforting and even reassuring experiences the dying may encounter just before death occurs. The term DBV is a general label for the broad category of spiritual, mystical, or unexplainable experiences or coincidental occurrences that take place in the arena of death. The dying have reported seeing angels, religious figures, spiritual guides, or deceased loved ones. They may even have control over the timing of their death. Death-related sensory experience (DRSE), end-of-life experience (ELE), and nearing death awareness (NDA) are several terms commonly used to describe the many different experiences people have reported around the time of their death or nearing death experience. DBVs are a neglected source of peace and comfort for the patients and their loved ones. Fear of societal judgments and lack of validation may keep many silent and create confusion. This research explored the experiences, perspectives, and therapeutic responses of social workers and other professional caregivers who work with the terminally ill in the hospice setting.

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