Dying Well: A Classic Grounded Theory Study on Christian Opinions on Death and Dying




Tate, Morgan

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This thesis reports a classic grounded theory study whose purpose was to learn how followers of the Christian faith tradition in modern, Western society approach the subject of death and dying. The study emphasized discerning what values sustain Christian individuals through death, grief, and loss—as well as how healthcare providers can improve end-of-life care with these findings in mind. Participant interviews were conducted to assess this concept of “dying well,” asking “what would you define as a ‘good death’” and “what would you define as a ‘bad death.’” For a “good death,” emergent themes included having closure, saying goodbyes, feeling no pain, and being at peace. For a “bad death,” emergent themes included prolonged death, dying alone, being in pain, and feeling fearful. Three lenses arose from these emergent themes as crucial for understanding how individuals within the Christian faith tradition perceive and navigate the concept of “dying well”: the importance of Selfhood, the function of Relationships, and the effects of the Manner of Death. Individuals can use these three lenses to assess what is important to them for “dying well,” and healthcare providers can use them to improve quality of care by addressing the wellbeing of their patients in these areas.



Death, Hospice, Christianity, Dying, Grounded theory