• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Dying is a social as well as physiological phenomenon. Each society characterizes and, consequently, treats death and dying in its own individual ways—ways that differ markedly. These particular patterns of death and dying engender modal cultural responses, and such institutionalized behavior has familiar, economical, educational, religious, and political implications. The Handbook of Death and Dying takes stock of the vast literature in the field.

The History of the Hospice Approach
The history of the hospice approach

I'm afraid of the pain. I don't want to be alone when I'm dying. I'm afraid of a long, protracted period of suffering. I don't want to die in a hospital. Let me die at home. I'm not afraid for myself, but I am worried about the effect of my death on those I love.

Of the eight different types of death fears, the three that cause the highest anxiety are the fear of pain, the fear of dependency, and the fear of isolation (Leming 1979–80). Among Americans, as the comments above reflect, it is the process of dying, and not the event of death, that causes the most concern. In this chapter, I examine ...

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