Bioethics Blogs

How To Die Like a Victorian [EOL in Art 181]

Interesting talk at the Florence Nightingale Museum.  The Victorian preoccupation with death and dying might seem morbid to modern eyes. But have we now gone too far in the opposite direction?  

In 21st century Britain, death tends to be hidden from public view. Today, medical professionals and undertakers take on many of the duties which in the past would have been carried out by the deceased’s relatives, such as washing and ‘laying out’ the body. Unlike the Victorians, today we experience a lack of familiarity with the dead which has led to the discussion of death becoming almost taboo and a subsequent rise in so called ‘death anxiety.’

In this talk, Holly Carter-Chappell will examine 19th-century memorial traditions and show how they are more relevant to modern day practices than we might think.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.