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Death As a Fact of Life.

Austin H. Kutscher, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1974;133(5):874-875. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320170150027.
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Beginning with the publication in 1959 of Herman Feifel's The Meaning of Death (containing the proceedings of a similarly named landmark symposium), the medical literature dealing with a medical subspecialty, thanatology, began to proliferate. Those concerned with the morals and ethics of health care for the 1970s and beyond have been made aware of the taboo status accorded to dying, death, and bereavement. A model technique not only for interviewing the dying patient but also for impressing on those in the allied health fields the lessons to be taught by those facing death was developed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. The dying were teaching the living how to cope.

While on the medical scene these studies were being literally forced on professionals, the public was still being overprotected from contact with the facts of death and dying—by hospital rules limiting visiting hours, by physicians who demanded that the nature of a patient's


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