April 1968

Passing On.

Author Affiliations



By David Sudnow, PhD. Price, $4.95. Pp 212. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1967.

Arch Intern Med. 1968;121(4):376. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.03640040070018

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Passing On is presented as "first and foremost an investigation of death in the county hospital setting." It seeks to provide information based on its author's 1½ years of "field work" experience "mostly conducted at County," stating,

Nowhere do we have descriptions of how dead bodies are handled in our hospitals, how care is given 'dying' patients, how members of deceased patients' families are informed of the deaths of their relatives, how the social organization of the hospital is affected by and affects the occurrence of deaths within its confines.

Author orientation of this publication is distinctly that of a sociologist reporting "field work," not that of a knowledgeable doctor of medicine. Statistics, plurals, generalities, and personifications abound at the expense of appreciation for the individual variant, the physician's ideal. The volume is an outgrowth of its writer's doctoral dissertation, naturally still reflecting inexperience, naiveté, and limited perspective of the

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