Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
The revelation that one has mere months left to live has the potential to be completely earth shattering to an individual's understanding of his identity. Nearly every facet of his being must be reevaluated, especially his sense of personal meaning. When faced with the reality of his mortality, man often expedites and prioritizes his journey for meaning, continuously adding nuances to this concept of meaning, which are derived from his experiences with the illness. While universally complex, the process of meaning-making in individuals with a terminal or life-threatening illness in particular is a pilgrimage that is unique and significant because of the wealth of differing ways through which individuals strive to attain meaning. In this thesis, the many possible ways of deriving meaning from life were limited to four core paradigms: fear, disregard, service, and spirituality. Each of these distinct models were analyzed via a case study that effectively exemplified the paradigm in action; from this analysis, I attempted to extract whether some paradigms were objectively "better" than others. Additionally, I sought to determine "how we ought to die" with a terminal illness .
Date of Award
© Ericson Stoen
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Stoen, Ericson, "Terminal and Life-Threatening Conditions: Finding Meaning Through Mortality" (2013). Student Publications. 600.