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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Sociology

Death and Dying SOC-283

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 01
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 01/21/2013

Contact Information

Instructor: Patty Bullick

Meeting Times


  • Wednesday, 4:30 PM to 7:15 PM, LKH 245


This course introduces the concepts, attitudes and social dynamics of death and dying, including various cultural perspectives. Topics include demographics, who dies and why, suicide, treatment of the dying and dead, religious and legal perspectives, stages of dying, caregiving, grief, and bereavement. Lecture: 3 hours per week


Death, Society, and Human Experience

  • Author: Kastembaum, Robert J.
  • Publisher: Allyn & Bacon
  • Edition: 10th edition


By the endo fthe semester, the students whould be able to:

  1. Think critically about death and dying issues and their impact of society.  This will be deomonstrated through the Reflections Journal, writing assignments and discussions.
  2. Describe the legal, emotional, social and medial aspect of dying.  This will be deomonstrated primarily through exam questions.
  3. Have an increased awareness of resources and knowledge to better assist others through the dying process.  This will be demonstrated through class assignments, exam questions and group exercises.
  4. Illustrate an understanding of loss, grief and bereavement.  This will be demonstrated through discussing and writing about the many theories and concepts on grief, loss and bereavement.
  5. Be able to identify strategies, activities and readings that increase your daily quality of life.  This will be demonstrated primarily through class discussions, readings and handouts on how to create quality of life in the face of death.


Course Policies



ACADEMIC DISHONESTY:  Cheating, plagiarism, or any other form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated!  Anyone caught violating this policy will receive an “F” for the course.


ASSISTANCE:  We are more than willing to help or assist students on material presented in class that they do not understand.  If you don’t feel like bringing something up in class for clarification, we encourage you to take advantage of our office hours as a chance to do this.  You may also call the instructor by phone.


BEHAVIOR:  Please behave in a respectful, courteous manner in class.  Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated.


MISSED LECTURES/DISCUSSIONS:  It is your responsibility to get notes for missed classes from other students in class.  I am always willing to discuss lectures with you that have points you don’t understand, but am not willing to give you notes from missed lectures.


PROBLEMS WITH THE COURSE:  If you have any problems with instruction, please make an appointment to see someone from the Social Science division – this is academic procedure.  Keep in mind that we are very open to discussion and we are here to help you to be as successful as possible.  Your education is very important to us!






Class Objective


Jan. 16

Review syllabus; Overview of class; Introductions;

Read Chapter 1

Jan. 23

Discuss Chapter 1 – As We Think About Death

Read Chapter 2


Jan. 30


Discuss Chapter 2 – What Is Death?       

Read Chapter 3


Feb. 6

Discuss Chapter 3 – The Death System

Read Chapter 4


Feb. 13

Discuss Chapter 4 – The Dying Process

Read Chapters 5

Complete 4   Journals

Feb. 20

Discuss Chapter 5 – Hospice & Palliative Care

Turn in 4 Reflections Journals

Read Chapter 6

Feb. 27

Discuss Chapter 6 - End-of-Life Issues

Read Chapter 7

Complete   Adv. Directive

Mar. 6


Discuss Chapter 7 – Suicide            

Turn in   Advance Directive Project

Read Chapter 8


Mar. 13

Discuss Chapter 8 – Violent Death

Read Chapter 9

Complete 4   Journals

Mar. 20

Discuss Chapter 9 – Assisted Death

Turn in 4 Reflections Journals

Read Chapter 10


Mar. 27

Discuss Chapter 10 – Death & Childhood

Read Chapter 11


Apr. 3

Spring   Break – No Classes



Apr. 10

Discuss Chapter 11 – Bereavement, Grief &   Mourning

Read Chapter 12

Complete 3   Journals

Apr. 17

Discuss Chapter 12 – The Funeral Process         

Turn in 3 Reflections Journals

Read Chapter 13


Apr. 24

Discuss Chapter 13 – Death Survival?

Read Chapter 14


May 1

Discuss Chapter 14 – How Can We Help?

Read Chapter 15


May 8

Discuss Chapter 15 – Good Life, Good Death

Complete   Final Paper and 4 Journals

May 15


Final Paper   Due

Turn in 4   Reflections Journals


Additional Items

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.


For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct applies to any student enrolled at North Idaho College.  This includes, but is not limited to, face-to-face classes and Internet classes.

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes:

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, Edminster Student Union Building, (208) 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, (208) 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

REMOVAL FROM CLASS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is based on your participation in this class. Failure to attend may result in your being removed from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. You are responsible for confirming the accuracy of your attendance record.