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On Death and Dying

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  16,691 Ratings  ·  301 Reviews
One of the most important psychological studies of the late twentieth century, On Death and Dying grew out of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's famous interdisciplinary seminar on death, life, and transition. In this remarkable book, Dr. Kübler-Ross first explored the now-famous five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Through sa ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Scribner (first published 1969)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Thomas
Jul 18, 2015 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To begin this review, an important quote about the way we train doctors to interact with patients:

"What happens in a society that puts more emphasis on IQ and class-standing than on simple matters of tact, sensitivity, perceptiveness, and good taste in the management of the suffering? In a professional society where the young medical student is admired for his research and laboratory work during the first years of medical school while he is at a loss of words when a patient asks him a simple que
...more
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

I re-read this book from time to time simply because it helps me put 'the circle of life' into perspective, and having recently had to put Honey, our 11.5 year old dog to sleep, I pulled this out again and read the parts that deal with the process and necessity and importance of allowing ourselves to grieve.
One of the most important psychological studies of the late twentieth century, On Death and Dying grew out of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's famous interdisciplinary seminar on death, life, and
...more
Erica
I took a class called "Death and Dying" from Dr. Joan Ray in...1993 or 1994 and this was our textbook.
The class and the book changed my entire viewpoint on death, grief, letting go...everything. It was, hands-down, the best, most useful, most enlightening class I took in my undergrad career.

I kept all my literature books, my Chaucer compendium, and my Shakespeare plays and I kept this book. Moreover, I kept all the notes from this class because I knew I would need them someday.

I need them all n
...more
Meg
Feb 04, 2009 Meg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someone else's review reminded me of this one. I read it as part of my research for a role in the play Shadowbox. Sooo interesting... not to mention highly accessible and useful for psyche babble. Kubler-Ross contends that every person adjusting to the idea of death goes through five stages (though they may bounce back and forth, skip ahead, etc., everyone hits all five at some point). They are: Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Depression, Acceptance.

I read this book probably over 10 years ago, and I
...more
anaïs
Feb 01, 2016 anaïs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get through this one for obvious reasons. I kind of got through most of the sections as I was going through them, although I am still in the middle of this process and reading of the whole process is beginning to help. Grief is not a straight line but rather a series of knots that I find myself having to untie again and again; I am moving through it and I have no idea where I'm going but I'm going there.
Josh
May 25, 2010 Josh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know. I read it to understand my own grieving. I suppose the introduction of the five stages of grief is pretty monumental and I have to give it credit for that. It's written very much as a psychologist's thesis, so it isn't always compelling. If clinical, though, it's still anything but insensitive. The writing is without flourish but the message, the research, the observations are all enlightening. I never understood where anger fit into my current and past experiences of grief, but it ...more
Terri
Nov 02, 2013 Terri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family, marriage
I recently lost my husband after he was diagnosed with a terminal disease. I was surprised that I haven't fallen apart...at least not yet. I decided to read this well-known book to understand the grieving process. I was surprised to read about anticipatory grief which, I now realize, is what I have been going through for the last 10 months and in particular in the last 5+ months since the diagnosis was confirmed. I understand that I may not go through all 5 stages ~ denial, anger, bargaining, de ...more
Miriam Krupka
Jul 18, 2013 Miriam Krupka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As you can see from the title, I took this book from Ari's shelf - I had never heard of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, but it seems like anyone in the medical/psychological professions have - she created the 5 stages of reaction to trauma. Anyway, this was a great read - it started stronger than it ended- she starts with laying out her philosophy on how death should be encountered by physicians and most of the rest of the book is interviews with patients. Worthwhile read if you're interested in this top ...more
Hadrian
A study of how people react towards death. The commonly known 'five-stages' model is outlined here, and many case studies and examples and described in depth. Morbid and necessary reading, to understand the psychology of our own grief and extinction.
Leonard
Dec 26, 2015 Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
It has become cliché to say we live in a society that denies death. From her experiences with dying patients, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross sheds insight into how we face, or not face, death. She details the famous Five Stages --denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance--through case studies of patients. These Five Stages, for better or worse, have become the model from which academics and lay people understand the process of dying. But more than the model, the book forces us to ga ...more
Leslie
May 15, 2010 Leslie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book and the research behind it clearly were revolutionary and in some ways have not yet had sufficient impact on the practice of medicine. The topic is extremely important, and many concepts put forward here have become heuristics of medical education about how to talk to dying patients (e.g., use simple, straight forward language including the word death; sit down; find a quiet spot to tell people bad news; make sure all the important people are present).

So, why did I say it was ok rather
...more
Karishma
Dec 19, 2014 Karishma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book came at a time in my life when I had the real opportunity to talk with the sick and the dying in my posting in a pain and palliative care unit.

I was uncertain how to approach these patients and had no idea what to say. A kind friend lent me the book and I'm truly grateful.

The author speaks carefully and eloquently of the importance of listening to the patients and just giving them your time and not hurrying past them.

It also brought into focus my own mortality. I think of death in le
...more
Neil Mudde
Jun 16, 2015 Neil Mudde rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those comfortable books,that I re-read as my partner of 39 years lay dying from bone cancer in the magnificent Princess Margaret Cancer Palliative care unit,in Toronto, were he was treated with great love, care and compassion, in spite of very little of what we like to call "Quality of life" he was cared with much love. I was able to spend 24 hours a day with him, a bed was provided for overnight stays, Robert passed away while I was with him. much of the care given there, originated with ...more
Molly
Apr 09, 2012 Molly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It might be helpful if more people would talk about death and dying as an intrinsic part of life just as they do not hesitate to mention when someone is expecting a new baby." This profound statement is just one of many that Elisabeth Kübler-Ross employs in order to convey what the dying can teach medical professionals, society, and their own families. Originally published in 1969, Kübler-Ross was undoubtedly ahead of her time. The five stages of death that Kübler-Ross patiently guides the read ...more
Marissa
I read this book three years after my mother passed away. At the time I refused all help, including reading any books which would have reflected my situation at the time.
No doubt 'On Death and Dying' would have been helpful to me, but I don't think I could have appreciated it to the fullest extent. I'm happy to have read it now, and I think I got what I needed from it.
I'm young, and I will experience many more deaths in my life- and there's always the possibility of facing my own death as well!
...more
Igor Tsinman
Jun 14, 2012 Igor Tsinman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Книга “О смерти и умирании” (On Death and Dying) о процессе умирания, о том, как человек постепенно отрешается от жизни.

Вот как автор Элизабет Кюблер-Росс определяет основной смысл книги:
Эта книга послужит одной-единственной цели - обострить чуткость членов семьи к смертельно больному, а больничного персонала - к неявным, невысказанным желаниям умирающих

Я читал книгу как практический конспект, который может понадобиться практически каждому человеку.

Книга “О смерти и умирании” не из легких,
...more
William
Feb 16, 2012 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On death and dying
By me
“On death and dying” By Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Ross goes on the subject of death, explaining what death truely means. She goes on about the the lifestyle of the patient, and how the paitent and realtives react to death. Throughout the book the book has a outline and it was to follow the 5 steps of grief,each with a patient story on how they concured each step. Denial, baraging, anger, depression, and Acceptance are all steps needed to concure death the real pain of death.
R
...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
This is amazing. I had no idea so many people found death such a difficult topic to talk about. I don't know if it's to do with being an archaeologist (or, rather, a former archaeologist) and studying what dead people have left behind, including the evidence available in their bones, and the exhumation of graves and burial grounds that many archaeologists wind up doing as contract work which makes me so comfortable talking about death. It might also be the Asperger's, or maybe a combination of t ...more
Melina
Reading this book in public sometimes makes people curious or uncomfortable. I've been asked if I'm in the midst of losing someone but no one is ill and I'm fine. Someone once told me I should read this because I told them that at times, for fear of being inappropriate, I don't know what to say when others announce they've lost someone other than the stale "so sorry for your loss", "if you ever need to talk I'm here", etc. It just never felt like that was helpful or enough.
It is not an 'Emily P
...more
Jeff
Dec 27, 2013 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
I wish i had the energy and initiative to test the hypothesis that this book changed the way the medical community treats critically ill patients and regular people view the process of dying. It all seemed so right. Perhaps my mother's training to become a nurse in the late-70s has something to do with its familiarity. Or maybe it's just cuz i hang out with a lot of enlightened and educated people (yeah, i'm lucky that way).

If you have a strong fear of death, i recommend reading this. If you're
...more
Gina
Jan 27, 2008 Gina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i'll point you towards the 8/14/07 review by "emmey".

wanted to read this before i started med school so i'd feel better prepared to interact with people at death's door.

i got very frustrated when EKR would present me with a dialogue or a situation and then draw what seemed to me to be an incredibly illogical conclusion (see the early pages of the chapter on anger for the story of Mr. X. - so poorly interpreted!).

i had to keep reminding myself that the book was outdated, that more work has been
...more
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ON DEATH AND DYING!!

I read On Death and Dying way back in 1986 when my father was dying with Lung Cancer. I just recently re read it becasue of a shocking accidental death in my family. This book helped me today as much as it did 28yrs ago. If you are going through the grief process or if you are supporting someone who is dying, This book is a must have an will greatly help you!! It written with the average person in mind. The narrative comes across for even young teens. I hig
...more
Poupee
Feb 20, 2015 Poupee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La autora es especialista en tanatología, siempre tiene algo que aportar sobre el tema, es el segundo libro que leo de ella, el de la rueda de la vida fue interesante, este otro título en particular habla de las fases por las que pasa un enfermo terminal y su familia.
No hay ficción, es un libro con entrevistas y desarrolla el proceso de aceptación de la muerte, proceso ilustrado en una gráfica pag 331. En fin, me fue útil ahora que murió mi querida madrina Lupita.
María Greene
Oct 22, 2015 María Greene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Qué gracia tiene para escribir esta mujer. Me encanta eso de que, cuando explica los conceptos, no los hace citándolos solos y desconectados del espacio... usa sus anécdotas, sus experiencias, sus historias de vida y lo que ha visto en ellas. Eso es lo que a uno realmente le interesa, la parte humana, o la aplicación de estos conceptos a la parte humana. Es absolutamente fascinante aunque también muy doloroso. Nadie quiere recordar que un día morirá, aunque una vez que uno lo acepta, uno dice "b ...more
SooYoung
A few excerpts:

"Therefore death in itself is associated with a bad act, a frightening happening, something that in itself calls for retribution and punishment." p 17 (in re: to the guilt and trauma we suffer from someone's death or our own impending death.)

"'Men are cruel, but Man is kind.' - Tagore from Stray Birds, CCXIX" p 25

"It is a time when too much interference from visitors who try to cheer him up hinders his emotional preparation rather than enhances it." p 100

"Our interviews revealed
...more
John
My summary is this: dying is made much worse than it has to be when we reject or avoid it. This worsening happens when the doctors, family members, and friends reject and avoid. It rubs off onto the dying person. We need to talk about it frankly.

Kübler-Ross also approaches death with the sense that it is normal and should be taken in stride. For example: "I have heard many relatives complain that members of the family went on pleasure trips over weekends or continued to go to a theater or movie.
...more
Emily Green
Nov 16, 2014 Emily Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had heard a lot about Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s On Death and Dying, specifically as the quintessential understanding of grief. In fact, as far back as I can remember, in learning about the stages of grief, I remember it being in conjunction with Kubler-Ross’s book. However, upon reading the volume, it is very different from what I originally expected. My expectation was that the book would be research based and written in technical language. Perhaps based on case studies, but really a scient ...more
Sevenponds
May 20, 2014 Sevenponds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) remains one of the most influential American psychiatrists of the twentieth century. Her “five stages of grief” model– alternately called the “Kübler-Ross model”– is still widely used, and has gained a good deal of cultural currency. This model was originally laid out in her groundbreaking work, On Death and Dying, written in 1969 and based on her experiences working with patients dying of terminal illness. She identified five “stages” the patients tended to go ...more
Marmile
Feb 11, 2008 Marmile rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
About the emotional reaction/dynamic when people is facing death caused by chronic illnesses. The 5 emotional stages founded by Kubler-Ross became my theoritical background for my final research project. This is really an amazing theory and very unique too!! Must read to know how to treat people who is facing death, very helpful. With a good treatment and if patients can develope moderate hope, there can be a miracle.. my 6 research subjects survived the cancer!
Will Waller
On Death and Dying represents a monumental contribution to pastoral care, although it comes from a doctoral standpoint. Kubler-Ross utilized seminars with patients who were terminally ill to gain insight into the dying process. From these seminars, she calculated that most persons go through stages of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and possibly reaching the stage of hope. Hope comes as one is able to process their grief and reach a higher state of accepting thei ...more
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Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D. was a Swiss-born psychiatrist, a pioneer in Near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed what is now known as the Kübler-Ross model. In this work she proposed the now famous Five Stages of Grief as a pattern of adjustment. These five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and accept ...more
More about Elisabeth Kübler-Ross...

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“Simple people with less education, sophistication, social ties, and professional obligations seem in general to have somewhat less difficulty in facing this final crisis than people of affluence who lose a great deal more in terms of material luxuries, comfort, and number of interpersonal relationships. It appears that people who have gone through a life of suffering, hard work, and labor, who have raised their children and been gratified in their work, have shown greater ease in accepting death with peace and dignity compared to those who have been ambitiously controlling their environment, accumulating material goods, and a great number of social relationships but few meaningful interpersonal relationships which would have been available at the end of life.” 3 likes
“Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body. Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment” 3 likes
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