What is a Good Death? A Bad Death?

In hospice palliative care we need to be impartial and leave our biases and preferences about dying and death in our personal life. This podcast teaches the importance of considering death on another person’s terms in the context of their life and their death. Understanding the subjectivity of good death and bad death definitions and how they may impact our caregiving.


  • 0’00” Start
  • 0’10” What is a good death? Bad death?
  • 1’29” Universal ideas of what shapes a good death.
  • 2’05” The subjectivity of a “good” death. Examples and stories illustrate this idea.
  • 8’30” The importance of not imposing your definitions of a good death onto others.
  • 9’00” How did people know they were dying at a certain facility?
  • 10’07” Being aware of your own definition allows you to set aside your biases.
  • 10’42” How do we know we are not setting aside our biases?

Chapter 5, On Being Up Close and Personal with the Dying, in Essentials in Hospice Palliative Care, 2nd Edition, Katherine Murray, 2009.

Written and recorded by Elizabeth Causton
All Rights Reserved Life and Death Matters 2010