Australian Journal of French Studies

Bien accompagner la fin de vie: Medical, Religious and Spiritual accompagnement in Simone de Beauvoir’s Une mort très douce

Australian Journal of French Studies (2020), 57, (3), 365–380.

Abstract

With its rise to prominence in the medical humanities canon, there has been a surge in bioethical readings of Simone de Beauvoir’s Une mort très douce (1964). However, such readings have tended to foreground binary analyses of the medical and ethical topoi found in the text. Moving away from such approaches, this article reads the care dynamics in Une mort through the lens of accompagnement by analysing the care provided by the medical, religious and familial caregivers depicted in the text. Through the juxtaposition of these three literary depictions of care, the article argues that “presence” is the fundamental component of an active accompagnement that seeks to care holistically for a patient at the end of their life. In calling for greater reflection on the place of accompagnement in care provision, the article also emphasizes the role of literature in facilitating this reflective process.

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Author details

McCULLOUGH, JORDAN OWEN

McCULLOUGH, JORDAN OWEN