On Death and Dying is one of the most important books ever written on the subject and is still considered the bench-mark in the care of the dying. It became an immediate bestseller, and Life magazine called it "a profound lesson for the living:' This companion volume consists of the questions that are most frequently asked of Dr. Kubler-Ross and her compassionate answers. She discusses accepting the end of life, suicide, terminal illness, euthanasia, how to tell a patient he or she is critically ill, and how to deal with all the special difficulties surrounding death. Questions and Answers on Death and Dying is a vital resource for doctors, nurses, members of the clergy, social workers, and lay people dealing with death and dying.
ELISABETH KOBLER-ROSS, M.D., is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, and internationally renowned thanatologist. Her books include The Wheel of Life, the classic On Death and Dying, and AIDS.
Since the publication of my first book, On Death and Dying (Macmillan, 1969), an increasing number of health professionals, lay people, and institutions have become involved with the needs of the terminally dl patient and his family.
Over the past five years I have participated in approximately seven-hundred workshops, lectures, and seminars on the care of dying patients. The participants came from every conceivable area of health care. There were physicians, members of the clergy, nurses, social workers, inhalation and occupational therapists, rehabilitation workers, ambulance drivers, funeral directors, as well as lay people who often had experienced the loss of a loved one. They came to seek answers to the many questions they brought with them.
This book is an attempt to answer some of the questions most frequently posed to me by audiences. Where they have been edited, it is only for clarification.
A book of this size can never answer all the questions. The most frequently asked questions regard the dying patient, and the largest portion of this book deals with patient-related issues. The next most frequently asked questions deal with staff problems and inter-disciplinary teamwork. Special issues are covered in shorter chapters to make for easier reading.
I have specifically excluded chapters on "Religion and Life after Death" as well as chapters on "Bereavement and Grief." This was done not only because of lack of space, but because there are others who are more qualified to answer these questions.
Again, as in my book, On Death and Dying, I have focused almost exclusively on the adult patient. Questions and answers relating to children are in my book, On Children and Death.
With the increasing number of in-service education programs for hospital personnel, seminars for medical students and other health professionals, and pastoral training centers, this book may stimulate discussion in areas where we have too often avoided the issue-not because we do not care, but because we feel so helpless in the face of the many unanswered questions arising at the time of this final crisis.
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