Bodies-in-life/Bodies-in-death: Social work, coronial autopsies and the bonds of identity

Drayton, John (2013) Bodies-in-life/Bodies-in-death: Social work, coronial autopsies and the bonds of identity. British Journal of Social Work, 43 2: 264-281. doi:10.1093/bjsw/bct011


Author Drayton, John
Title Bodies-in-life/Bodies-in-death: Social work, coronial autopsies and the bonds of identity
Journal name British Journal of Social Work   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0045-3102
1468-263X
Publication date 2013
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/bjsw/bct011
Volume 43
Issue 2
Start page 264
End page 281
Total pages 18
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This paper addresses an aspect of bereavement which has received scant attention: the various meanings of the dead body for the bereaved person and the practical implications of these for social workers in the field of grief and loss. The discussion is embedded within a consideration of the role of social work in the field. The practice context is discussed and the literature of attachment in bereavement and conceptualisations of the dead body briefly reviewed. The core of the paper derives from a series of interviews with relatives of people whose bodies underwent autopsy-based coronial investigations involving the retention of whole organs in Queensland, Australia. A number of emergent themes are identified regarding the resonance of identity and the ways it is contained, asserted and incorporated into the life and grief of the bereaved. Conflicts and concurrences between the perspectives of interviewees and dominant medico-legal perspectives are also considered. The paper concludes by discussing the role of social work in bringing the perspectives of the bereaved person to the fore. It suggests the profession, by virtue of its familiarity with the Ambiguous and Contradictory, is well placed to develop practical understandings of death and bereavement and to enhance the various governmental systems in which they are enacted.
Keyword Autopsy
Bereavement
Body
Sudden Death
Grief
Social work
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 16 Sep 2015, 16:09:38 EST by John Drayton on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work