Stephen Claxton-Oldfield

Associate Professor
Crabtree 218
Office hours
Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:30 AM - NOON or by appointment


I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Mount Allison University. Locally, I serve on the Board of Directors for Hospice Southeast New Brunswick in Moncton. I am a trained hospice palliative care volunteer and a Certified Thanatologist (CT) with the Association for Death Education and Counseling. A lesser-known fact about me is that I am also a part-time folk artist.


Claxton-Oldfield, S., & Yoon, H. (2023). Deathbed visions: Hospice palliative care volunteers’ experiences, perspectives, and responses. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying. DOI: 10.1177/00302228231161815.

Claxton-Oldfield, S. (2023). Distressing deathbed visions: Rare, misunderstood, or underreported? American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, DOI: 10.1177/10499091231152441.               

Claxton-Oldfield, S. (2022). Deathbed visions: Visitors and vistas. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, DOI: 10.1177/00302228221095919.

Claxton-Oldfield, S., & Richard, N. (2022). Nursing home staff members’ experiences with and beliefs about unusual end-of-life phenomena. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, 86 (2), 609-623.

Claxton-Oldfield, S., Hicks, R., & Claxton-Oldfield, J. (2022). A pilot study evaluating the effectiveness of a training module designed to improve hospice palliative care volunteers’ ability to deal with unusual end-of- life phenomena. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, 85 (1), 75-87.

Claxton-Oldfield, S. (2021). The role of hospice palliative care volunteers with respect to conversations about medical assistance in dying (MAiD). Journal of Palliative Care, 36 (3), 143-145.

Claxton-Oldfield, S., & Beaudette, S. (2021). Hospice palliative care volunteers’ attitudes, opinions, experiences, and perceived needs for training around medical assistance in dying (MAiD).   American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 38 (11), 1282-1290.

Claxton-Oldfield, S., Gallant, M., & Claxton-Oldfield, J. (2020). The impact of unusual end-of-life phenomena on hospice palliative care volunteers and their perceived needs for training to respond to them. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, 81 (4), 577-591.

Claxton-Oldfield, S., McCaffrey-Noviss, W., & Hicks, R. (2018). A few good men: It’s not easy recruiting male hospice palliative care volunteers. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, 35 (2), 1532-1539.

Claxton-Oldfield, S., & Dunnett, A. (2018). Hospice palliative care volunteers’           experiences with unusual end-of-life phenomena. OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, 77 (1), 3-14.


1993 Ph.D. (Psychology), University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, England

1987 M.A. (General Experimental Psychology), Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario

1983 B.A. (Honours Psychology), Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario


PSYC 2001 - Research Design & Analysis I

PSYC 2301 - Social Psychology

PSYC 3331 - Death and Dying

PSYC 4301 - Advanced Topics in Social Psychology


My research focuses on three main areas. The first is the people who volunteer in hospice palliative care settings; those caring and compassionate people who give freely of their time to provide friendship, emotional support, and practical assistance to dying persons and their families. Volunteers are the “heart” of the hospice palliative care team. My second area is people’s attitudes toward medical assistance in dying (MAiD) which has been legal in Canada since June 2016. In March 2024, individuals whose sole underlying medical condition is mental illness will be eligible to apply for MAiD. My third area of research is deathbed phenomena; the strange (unexplainable) things that often happen in the last weeks, days, or hours of a dying person’s life (e.g., deathbed visions).

Grants, awards & honours

2010 recipient of the J.E.A. Crake Teaching Award in the Faculty of Science, Mount Allison University