case western reserve university



Death and dying

Information on Death and dying can be found in many libraries as well as at a number of reliable internet resources.

From this web page, you will find sources from a health sciences perspective.

Advance Directives is defined as declarations by patients, made in advance of a situation in which they may be incompetent to decide about their own care, stating their treatment preferences or authorizing a third party to make decisions for them.
Bereavement refers to the whole process of grieving and mourning and is associated with a deep sense of loss and sadness.
Death is the irreversible cessation of all bodily functions, manifested by absence of spontaneous breathing and total loss of cardiovascular and cerebral functions.
Euthanasia is defined as the act or practice of killing or allowing death from natural causes, for reasons of mercy, i.e., in order to release a person from incurable disease, intolerable suffering, or undignified death. (from Beauchamp and Walters, Contemporary Issues in Bioethics, 5th ed)
Living Wills is defined as written, witnessed declarations in which persons request that if they become disabled beyond reasonable expectation of recovery, they be allowed to die rather than be kept alive by extraordinary means.
Right to die is defined as the right of the patient or the patient's representative to make decisions with regard to the patient's dying.
Tissue and Organ Procurement is defined as the administrative procedures involved with acquiring tissues or organs for transplantation through various programs, systems, or organizations. These procedures include obtaining consent from tissue donors and arranging for transportation of donated tissues and organs, after tissue harvesting, to HOSPITALS for processing and transplantation.

All of the bold-face terms may be used for subject searching in EuclidPLUS (as a MeSH: Medical Subject Heading Search) or in PubMed.

If you need more information, please contact Reference at the Allen at 216.368.3640, or at the Health Center at 216.368.3218, or send us an email, (

Print Resources

Readily available books and journals are good starting places for research on a topic. Dictionaries and textbooks are especially helpful. Please check the items listed on Print Resources for Death available at Case.

Library Catalogs

Catalogs are lists of materials an institution owns or to which it has access. At Case Western Reserve University, the catalog is EuclidPLUS. EuclidPLUS includes information about print and electronic materials, both monographic and serial.

Other catalogs are:

    OhioLINK Library Catalog >>
    Library of Congress >>
    The National Library of Medicine's LocatorPlus >>
    WorldCat >>

Research Databases

Databases are collections of data organized for rapid search and retrieval by a computer. In libraries they are primarily bibliographic in nature, indexing journals, meetings and sometimes books. An example of a database is PubMed.

Other databases are:

    AgeLine >>
    CINAHL >>
    LexisNexis Academic >>

    MedlinePlus >>

    Advance Directives >>

    Bereavement >>

    End of Life Issues >>

    Hospice Care >>

    Organ Donation >>

    Oxford Reference, Law >>
    PsycInfo >>
    For additional databases, please check the All Research Databases at Case >> page.

Electronic Resources at Case

CHSL provides information on Electronic Books. >>

There are many links to electronic journals from the resources listed in Library Catalogs and Databases. >>

CHSL also has links to collections of Electronic Journals. >>

Government Resources
    Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging >>
    Ohio Department of Aging >> information on Legal Services
    Ohio Department of Health >> Do Not Resuscitate Comfort Care
    Ohio Legal Rights Service >> Advance Directives
    U. S. Health Resources and Services Administration >> Organ and Tissue Donation
    U. S. National Institute on Aging >> Getting Your Affairs in Order
    U. S. National Institutes of Health

    Bereavement >>

    Death and Dying >>

Web Resources
    AARP End of Life >>
    AARP Internet Resources On Aging >> Death and Dying web sites

    Faststats - Deaths >>

Associations and Organizations
    Hospice of the Western Reserve >>
    National Funeral Directors Association >>
    Ohio Funeral Directors Association >>
    Ohio Hospice & Palliative Care Organization >>

    The appropriate forms for end of life decisions in Ohio are available at this web site.

    Advance Directives >>

    Choices Living Well at the End of Life >> You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader >>

Other Information
    Finding Health Sciences Information >>
    This page is maintained by the Cleveland Health Sciences Library.
    OhioLINK & ALAO Instruction Clearinghouse >>
    There are links to online tutorials and help pages available here.
    Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication >>
    This is the Vancouver style for preparing manuscripts.