December 5, 1977

New Meanings of Death

Author Affiliations

Urbana College Urbana, Ohio


by Herman Feifel, 367 pp, with illus, $11.95, New York, McGrawHill, 1977.

JAMA. 1977;238(23):2544. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280240090038

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This book, a companion volume to Feifel's The Meaning of Death, brings together a selection of recent readings that cover a variety of issues related to death. Among the subjects covered are death and the developmental cycle, clinical management, problems faced by survivors, and cultural responses to death.

Most of the selections were written by mental health personnel and medical clinicians. However, the book is at its best when it moves away from a clinical perspective and approaches death and dying as human issues, not limited to professional concern. The personal accounts of living with terminal illness and life with loved ones facing death are both poignant and informative. In the former category, the contribution by Orville E. Kelly, "Make Today Count," holds particular interest. In the latter category, the description by Lois and Arthur Jaffe of the struggle by a husband and wife to preserve their personal integrity and