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Who Is a Good Death For?

A Departures in Critical Qualitative Research Critical Interventions Forum


This Departures in Critical Qualitative Research Critical Interventions forum invites scholars, death care practitioners, artists, death doulas, healthcare practitioners, and others interested in the topic of a good death to respond to the question, “Who is a Good Death For?”


A good death is philosophical and aspirational. And organizations and individuals pursue a good death for themselves and others every day. Dying well and a good death are goals espoused in healthcare institutions such as hospices, death doulas work to help individuals experience a good death using non-clinical skills, and lawyers encourage us to document our wishes for end-of-life care in legal forms. Programs and festivals have cropped up around the globe challenging participants to think, talk, design, and reimagine dying and death. Who has access to these services? Who is invited to these conversations? And what have they concluded about dying well?


This forum also seeks contributions that consider where people of color, the disabled, LGBTQA+, immigrants, and people without shelter fit into conceptions of a good death. Are they invited to these conversations and what are these communities’ contributions to our understanding(s) of dying well? Is a good death and the concept of dying well primarily a Western notion, and if so, what do non-Western perspectives have to say about the pursuit of a good death and who a good death is for?   


This Critical Interventions forum will be co-edited by Jenn Tran and Jillian Tullis:


Jenn is a first-generation daughter of refugee immigrants with a deep-rooted passion for the social and personal processes of death. Her dedication to advocating for a good death stems from lifelong observations of how marginalized communities experience death and grief in the United States—strengthening a commitment to improve the quality of death and dying across intersections of race, class, gender, culture, religion, and social justice. Jenn is a board member of Radical Death Studies, a SF Asian Women’s Shelter volunteer advocate, and member of the Order of the Good Death.


Jillian has more than a decade of professional and personal experience in settings such as hospice, cancer centers, and hospitals. It was a combination of observing how her family responded to relatives’ deaths, the television show Six Feet Under, and an assignment in a graduate seminar that inspired an interest in studying communication about dying and death. Jillian uses her scholarship and teaching to understand and educate others about how individuals communicate about dying and death.



February 1, 2021

Anticipated publication date: September 2021


Submission Guidelines

Critical Inventions forums typically consist of first-person essays. Submissions may include, but are not limited to, traditional manuscripts; other creative works (e.g., poems, scripts) are welcome.


Submissions should not exceed 1,500 words including endnotes.


Please email your submission with the subject line “Good Death” to the Critical Interventions Editor, Jillian Ann Tullis (


For general information about Departures in Critical Qualitative Research and Critical Interventions forums, visit


Please direct inquiries to 

Jillian Ann Tullis, PhD, DCQR Critical Interventions Editor:

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