• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Life-Threatening Illness and the Family

  • By: Ruvanee P. Vilhauer
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

A life-threatening illness is a disease or condition in which the likelihood of death is high. Illnesses of this type can affect patients and their families in many ways. Effects on the ill family member and the family are intertwined; the ill family member's response to the illness affects the family, and the family's response to the person who is ill, in turn, can affect the experience of the illness. This entry explores these intertwined effects on the family and the ill family member.

Historical Background

Historically, family members have been the caregivers, almost exclusively, for people who contracted life-threatening illnesses. Even minor infections frequently led to death, so death was not an uncommon occurrence in families. Ill family members usually died at home, often relatively ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles