The Study of Dying: From Autonomy to Transformation

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"What is it really like to die? Though our understanding about the biology of dying is complex and incomplete, greater complexity and diversity can be found in the study of what human beings encounter socially, psychologically and spiritually during the experience. Contributors from disciplines as diverse as social and behavioural studies, medicine, demography, history, philosophy, art, literature, popular culture and religion examine the process of dying through the lens of both animal and human studies. Despite common fears to the contrary, dying is not simply an awful journey of illness and decline; cultural influences, social circumstances, personal choice and the search for meaning are all crucial in shaping personal experiences." This volume will be of interest to clinicians, professionals, academics and students of death, dying and end-of-life care, and anyone curious about the human confrontation with mortality.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Poised somewhere between On Death and Dying by Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross and How We Die by Sherwin Nuland, The Study of Dying is a well-crafted book that looks at demise from all sorts of angles. The ending is self-evident: the importance of a good exit cannot be overstated." - Journal of the American Medical Association

"The editor and each contributor have marshaled the death and dying literature authoritatively, offering beginning and advanced students alike a very readable and worthy introduction to this field. Kellehear's long fascination with death has yielded a most informative volume, of great value to thanatological professionals and those wishing to better understand how we die.... Highly recommended." - Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521517676
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/31/2009
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Allan Kellehear is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bath, UK.

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Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

1 What the social and behavioural studies say about dying Allan Kellehear Kellehear, Allan 1

2 The dying animal: a perspective from veterinary medicine Siri K. Knudsen Knudsen, Siri K. 27

3 The dying human: a perspective from biomedicine Marie-Aurelie Bruno Bruno, Marie-Aurelie Didier Ledoux Ledoux, Didier Steven Laureys Laureys, Steven 51

4 The dying human: a perspective from palliative medicine Michael Ashby Ashby, Michael 76

5 The demography of dying Glennys Howarth Howarth, Glennys 99

6 Historical approaches to dying Julie-Marie Strange Strange, Julie-Marie 123

7 Dying and philosophy Geoffrey Scarre Scarre, Geoffrey 147

8 The art of dying Clare Gittings Gittings, Clare 163

9 Dying in Western literature John Skelton Skelton, John 188

10 Cinematic visions of dying Fran McInerney McInerney, Fran 211

11 Dying in the Judaeo-Christian tradition Douglas Davies Davies, Douglas 233

12 Near-death experiences and deathbed visions Bruce Greyson Greyson, Bruce 253

Index 276

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