open access

Vol 10, No 2 (2016)
Review paper
Published online: 2016-11-29
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Changing attitudes towards death

Antonina Ostrowska
Medycyna Paliatywna w Praktyce 2016;10(2):41-47.

open access

Vol 10, No 2 (2016)
Review articles
Published online: 2016-11-29

Abstract

The article presents main changes in social attitudes towards death and dying starting from the middle age till contemporary times. It shows how these attitudes have been changing from the acceptance and openness to denial and taboo. The influence of broader social processes like secularization of life, industrialization, transformation in values and family structure, and above all the progress of medical knowledge and science generally, is indicated as the factors influencing discussed changes. As a result of their occur­rence, death and dying have become a medical experience instead of family one.

All above mentioned processes are also responsible for the modification of the social context surrounding death; the patterns of caring for a dying person, his/her interactions with closest milieu, the structure and ways in which the institutions where the death occurs function. However, in the last years the new trends in the social attitudes towards dying may be observed; the need of humanization of this process and assertion of dignity to those passing on are the symptoms of the new approach.

Abstract

The article presents main changes in social attitudes towards death and dying starting from the middle age till contemporary times. It shows how these attitudes have been changing from the acceptance and openness to denial and taboo. The influence of broader social processes like secularization of life, industrialization, transformation in values and family structure, and above all the progress of medical knowledge and science generally, is indicated as the factors influencing discussed changes. As a result of their occur­rence, death and dying have become a medical experience instead of family one.

All above mentioned processes are also responsible for the modification of the social context surrounding death; the patterns of caring for a dying person, his/her interactions with closest milieu, the structure and ways in which the institutions where the death occurs function. However, in the last years the new trends in the social attitudes towards dying may be observed; the need of humanization of this process and assertion of dignity to those passing on are the symptoms of the new approach.

Get Citation

Keywords

attitudes toward death, factors influencing attitudes toward death, interactions with dying person, dying in hospital, dying in hospice

About this article
Title

Changing attitudes towards death

Journal

Palliative Medicine in Practice

Issue

Vol 10, No 2 (2016)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

41-47

Published online

2016-11-29

Bibliographic record

Medycyna Paliatywna w Praktyce 2016;10(2):41-47.

Keywords

attitudes toward death
factors influencing attitudes toward death
interactions with dying person
dying in hospital
dying in hospice

Authors

Antonina Ostrowska

References (17)
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