Elisabeth Kbler-Ross & Associates

Well, it’s about time we are getting around to reading something from the lady who pretty much pioneered the study of death and dying, Elisabeth Kbler-Ross. She’s so famous that I’d wager some of you have even heard of her? If you haven’t heard of her, I bet that you might be familiar with the Five Stages of Dying that people commonly experience. That was all hers! She developed that after interviewing countless terminal patients in hospitals, etc. Her work has been instrumental in the whole hospice care movement as well as a general reform/rethink of how we treat terminal patients and how we deal with death and dying.

This is not a difficult reading (in terms of there being any difficult concepts) but, it might be a little emotionally challenging. If you never saw her famous “Stages of Dying” before, here’s a quick overview:

This course has looked at how different traditions (in different times and places) have dealt with the issues of death and dying. In the previous section you saw how Ram Dass melded together what he had learned from studying eastern traditions and brought them back to a western audience so, we got a sort of fusion “east-west” approach there. His former colleague, Timothy Leary proceeded mostly down a non-religious path (pharmacological and scientific) which was where he and Ram Dass (aka, Richard Alpert) began. Remember, it was through his experimentation with hallucinogens that Alpert gained the (for lack of a better word) spiritual impetus to pursue his search through more traditional means.

Elisabeth Kbler-Ross, as I said elsewhere, was responsible for spearheading the hospice care movement and analyzing what a person goes through as they are dying. I am curious to know if any of you have any experience with hospice care? I also would like to know your thoughts on the following: Have you learned anything about the subject of death, dying (or the beyond) from any of the approaches you have looked at this semester? What was it? Please be specific and go into as much detail as you can.