[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 4, 1969

On Death and Dying

JAMA. 1969;209(5):776. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160180122028

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Most people, even doctors, don't like to think, talk, or read about death. Even so, I hope a great many will read this book. Although a doctor may have cared for many dying patients, most likely he has given so much thought and effort to their physical care, to attempted prolongation of their life, that he has tended to neglect their personal, emotional needs. In fact, conscientious doctors may be so troubled by their inability to cure an illness, to save a life, that they avoid contact with their moribund patients. They will rationalize that there is nothing more they can do, or they will busy themselves with physical and pharmacological procedures, but avoid talking or listening to the doomed human being.

Dr. Kübler-Ross, a psychiatrist, has spent several years interviewing dying patients and their relatives. She has conducted seminars for students and hospital personnel in which patients have had