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September 2, 1974

Questions and Answers on Death and Dying

Author Affiliations

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Springfield

JAMA. 1974;229(10):1354-1355. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230480070042

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


Since publishing On Death and Dying in 1969, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross has given approximately 700 workshops and lectures throughout North America and Europe. This book is a collection of her responses to some of the questions most frequently asked by her audiences. The book focuses almost exclusively on adult patients. Another book, On Children and Death, is promised as "forthcoming."

Questions and Answers is directed primarily toward health care workers and is organized in three parts. The first part, on understanding the dying patient, will be familiar to readers of On Death and Dying. The second part deals with patient-related issues. The chapter on "Special Forms of Communication" is, in my opinion, worth the price of the volume. It summarizes and illustrates the difference between "nonverbal symbolic language" and "symbolic verbal language"—an important distinction for those of us who work directly with patients, especially verbally incapacitated patients. The third part