On Death and Dying
What the Dying have to teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and their own Families
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Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The five stages of grief, first formulated in this hugely influential work forty years ago, are now part of our common understanding of bereavement. The five stages were first identified by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her work with dying patients at the University of Chicago and were considered phases that all or most people went through, when faced with the prospect of their own death. They are now often accepted as a response to any major life change.
However, in spite of these terms being in general use, the subject of death is still surrounded by conventional attitudes and reticence that offer only fragile comfort because they evade the real issues. This groundbreaking book is still relevant – giving a voice to dying people and exploring what impending death means to them, often in their own words. People speak about their experience of dying, their relief in expressing their fear and anger and being able to move forward to a state of acceptance and peace.
Ideal for all those with an interest in bereavement or the five stages of grief, this book contains a new extended introduction from Professor Allan Kellehear. This additional chapter re-examines On Death and Dying looking at how it has influenced contemporary thought and practice.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. On the Fear of Death 2. Attitudes Towards Death and Dying 3. First Stage: Denial and Isolation 4. Second Stage: Anger 5. Third Stage: Bargaining 6. Forth Stage: Depression 7. Fifth Stage: Acceptance 8. Hope 9. The Patient’s Family 10. Some Interviews with Terminally Ill Patients 11. Reactions to the Seminar on Death and Dying 12. Therapy with the Terminally Ill
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a psychiatrist with a particular interest in end of life care. Especially interested in the care of dying patients, she researched their attitudes to death. Her groundbreaking work, On Death and Dying, identified the ‘five stages’ that dying people go through as they approach death and this model has been enormously influential over the past forty years.
Praise for On Death and Dying:
'This book is important reading for nurses, doctors, clergy, and others whose work brings them into contact with the dying. It is also recommended to any reader who refuses to believe that the best way to deal with fear is to run away.' – Colin Murray Parkes, from the foreword
‘All those involved in social work, be they students, practitioners, or teachers should read it; for it concerns loss, and assisting people to deal with losses of one kind or another is the social worker's commonest task. Here is a book that helps them to do this with sensitivity, insight and compassion.' – British Journal of Social Work
‘This is a book to own but every library should have a copy and every medical and nursing syllabus a place for discussion of death and dying with this as a textbook.’ – Nursing Times