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On Death and Dying [Paperback]

Elizabeth Kubler Ross
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Jun 1997
One of the most famous psychological studies of the late twentieth century, "On Death and Dying" grew out of an interdisciplinary seminar on death, originated and conducted by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. In "On Death and Dying," Dr. Kubler-Ross first introduced and explored the now-famous idea of the five stages of dealing with death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. With simple interviews and conversations, she gives the reader a better understanding of how iminent death affects the patient, the professionals who serve the patient, and the patient's family, bringing hope, solace, and peace of mind to all involved.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (23 Jun 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684839385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684839387
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Life"A profound lesson for the living.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic work on grief 22 Dec 2005
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's book, 'On Death and Dying', is one of the classic works in the field, still used to educate and inform medical, counseling, and pastoral professionals since its original publication in the 1960s. Kübler-Ross did extensive research in the field by actually talking to those in the process of dying, something that had hitherto been considered taboo and an unthinkable, uncaring thing to do. Kübler-Ross asked for volunteers, and never pressured people to do or say anything they didn't want to. One of her unexpected discoveries was that the medical professionals were more reluctant to participate than were the patients, who quite often felt gratitude and relief at being able to be heard.
Kübler-Ross also spoke to families, and followed people through their ailments, sometimes to recovery, but most often to their death. She let the people guide her in her research: 'We do not always state explicitly [to the patient] that the patient is actually terminally ill. We attempt to elicit the patients' needs first, try to become aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and look for overt or hidden communications to determine how much a patient wants to face reality at a given moment.'
This caring approach was often an aggravation for Kübler-Ross and her staff, because they would know what the patient had been told but was not yet ready to face. Kübler-Ross recounts stories of attempts to deal with death in different ways; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance -- in fact, the various stages of grief were first recognised in Kübler-Ross's research.
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97 of 104 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as useful as it might be 21 April 1999
By A Customer
Some time ago at the age of 37 I was told that I was terminally ill and could expect to live only a few months. So far I have outlived all expectations and remain healthy but I am aware that this may be a temporary reprieve so when I came across this book I read it in the hope that it might throw some light on the taboo subject of the process of dying - in terms of the psychological effects. If you are reading this it is likely that you or a loved one are in a similar position, or that you are a health-care professional involved in the care of terminally-ill patients.
I gather that 'On Death and Dying' (now about 30 years old) is something of a medical classic, and from my experience it seems that it's main finding - the need for honesty and compassion in dealing with dying patients - has been thoroughly incorporated into the practices of the National Health Service (Or was I just lucky?). The process of denial and anger leading to depression and eventual acceptance is now familiar enough to seem unsurprising. My main problem with this book is that it consists largely of interviews with patients. They come from a both sexes and a range of ages and backgrounds and display various attitudes towards their illness. However, every one of them, without exception, sooner or later mentions their religious faith as a factor in their experience. This is fair enough - anyone who has a religious faith is bound to use it to rationalise their impending death - but America in the 60s is a long way from the far more secular society of Britain in the 90s and it does mean that the book really seems to have nothing to say to atheists like myself.
Speaking as an atheist, I found my lack of faith a great comfort in facing the possibility of imminent death.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Healing 28 May 2001
By A Customer
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross shares how dying people have much to teach us about caring for more than their body - she reminds us to care for their soul. She challenges us to see our patients as more than a disease and look into the heart and soul of a patient's existence. Elisabeth shares insights into the nature of soul revealing a level of care that transcends her medical training creating a sense of compassion that can heal one of life's most difficult experiences.
I also recommend: What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living by Samuel Oliver
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading 17 Aug 1999
By A Customer
A brilliant book by E. Rubler-Ross who has dedicated her life to researching the needs of terminally ill patients & their families. This is essential reading for everyone, whether you have had to face death (either your own or a loved one) or not. It is common for Westerners to deny death by not discussing it, or even thinking about it. This book illustrates the many problems that can arise from this attitude & the heartache it can cause the terminally ill & their families. Thanks to E. Kubler-Ross for an amazing lifetime achievement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Help 4 Nov 2009
I was going through a diffcult time and was recommended this book by my councellor. It helped me understand the process of dying and how people feel and understand the processes before a person dies. I work in the caring profession and would recommend the to anyone that works in that porfession because it gives you a better understanding and how to cope when a person asks you questions about death.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 13 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was recommended to me by a first aid trainer
for my sister who was doing a placement in nursing.
She found it very moving and a valuable source of
information and understanding.
Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Every health care professional should read
I bought this book as a support for my therapy work. It is the best books I have read that gives insight into individual perspectives of our own mortality and how we respond to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by tinylinedancer
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite a classic
I have known about this book for a very long time and decided I should read it. I read it shortly after losing my own elderly mother. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dav E Turner
3.0 out of 5 stars Well Resourced
Good book. Well written but not quite suitable for me. It is aimed more at hospital staff and careers. Maybe the others in this series may be more suitable.
Published 4 months ago by Miss S P Chase
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
This book, although very interesting, was not at all what I was expecting. Relevant to terminal death, but what about unexpected and unplanned deaths?
Published 7 months ago by Joanne Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend
I have known this book for many years and bought it to give a friend who was recently bereeaved
She is finding it comforting and illuminating.
I recommend it.
Published 10 months ago by Wing
4.0 out of 5 stars On death and dying
It was very profound and really made you think. It was very interesting how other people contemplated death.

A very good read
Published 10 months ago by shirley o'shaughnessy
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this!
I'd heard about this book eons ago as a staff nurse, but never quite got round to reading it! Now my parents are elderly, I find myself drawn to any resources on death and dying... Read more
Published 11 months ago by sandinz
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb condition
Quick delivery
Book looks brand new
Excellent book which must be recommended not only to medically minded people but for all.
Published 12 months ago by Eileen
4.0 out of 5 stars Makes you think
This book makes you think about how people deal with death and dying. Gives you a new prospective about death and helps to understand how others may feel.
Published 13 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars an important book
This is an important book for anyone going through the experience of terminal illness.
The different stages are important but for me reading about the different cases and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Johndo1
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