Well-Being//

Should We Be Teaching Death Ed In High Schools?

Death ed is just as important as sex ed.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

A critical and palliative care doctor made a compelling case in The New York Times for why we should teach teenagers about death. We teach sexuality, another taboo topic we’re generally not thrilled to talk about, in a formal, cohesive fashion. But we ignore what happens at the end of our lives, despite the fact that, as The Onion has reported, the death rate is holding steady at 100 percent.

None of us understand death well enough, and our lack of knowledge is costly. As the doctor, Jessica Nutik Zitter, author of Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life points out, eighty percent of us would prefer to die at home; only 20 percent do. Many dying patients don’t even understand that they’re dying.

“In most cases, the suffering could have been avoided, or at least mitigated, by some education on death and our medical system,” Zitter wrote. “If we started to teach death ed in high school, a student visiting a dying grandparent might draw from the curriculum to ask a question that could shift the entire conversation. High school, when students are getting their drivers’ licenses and considering organ donation, is the perfect time for this. Where else do we have the attention of our entire society?”

There’s reason to believe that students might embrace the opportunity to learn about death. Nutik Zitter wrote when she and a colleague went into a high school to teach a death ed class, “No one had fainted. No one had run out of the class screaming.”

Read more Nutik Zitter’s full story here.

Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Wisdom//

My Own Death

by Thrive Global
Claire Streatfield/Getty Images
Wisdom//

Why We Should All Pause for a Little Longer After Death

by Narratively
Well-Being//

All That Glitters

by Thrive Global

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.