The Effects of Compassionate Presence on the Dying:
In the United States alone each year over 2.4 §million people die. The vast majority of these §deaths culminate in a non-communicative or comatose §state, yet it is surprisingly uncommon for §researchers to study the non-communicative dying, §their needs and their responses directly. Rather, §most studies focus on the experiences of dying §people while they are still in communicative states §or on their families. As a result, there is still §much to be learned about this silent passage and the §spiritual care most likely to help the dying and §their families. What do they need? And §how can we help?§Jeanne Denney''s pioneering work takes a bold §step in end of life study to address these §questions. Using biofeedback technology, she opens §a dialogue with the dying that yields insight on §their experiences, their needs and the experience of §caregiving generally. The results were surprising §and instructive, yielding hope for families, §powerful indications that more research of this §nature needs to be done, and direction for §this future work.