Moral frames for lives worth living: Managing the end of life with dementia

Natashe Lemos Dekker
2018, Death Studies 42(5): 322-328.


Abstract

Narratives that frame the end of life with dementia as undignified reveal moral claims on which lives are considered worth living. These claims are deeply rooted in the medicalization of death and its appeal to dignity. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork in nursing homes for people with dementia in The Netherlands, I demonstrate how the end of life with dementia is managed through such moral frames. Specifically, I elaborate on the production of lives (not) worth living and explore how family members welcomed the death of a loved one with dementia. I argue that the welcoming of death is not an act of indifference but can be seen as a form of care.

Suggested Citation

Lemos Dekker, Natashe. 2018. Moral frames for lives worth living: Managing the end of life with dementia, Death Studies 42(5): 322-328.