Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


Contemporary American society has established a comfortable reliance upon a large network of total and quasi-total institutions for dealing with certain life threatening events and socially disruptive conditions As a consequence these institutions have become primary locales for dying. It is the principal argument of this paper that although a large proportion of all deaths now occur in institutions, they are generally harsh and unsympathetic in their handling of dying, and particularly insensitive to the social and psychological needs of surviving significant others in the period immediately following a death. It is suggested that along with accepting the responsibility to care for terminally ill patients, such institutions should also accept responsibility for aiding survivors following a patient’s death.

Source Citation

Dying and the Social Responsibility of Institutions. Social Casework. 59.9. (November, 1977). 538-546.


Electronic copy typed from author's pre-print.



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