On Death and Dying author dies

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 13, 2004

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Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD, 78, a psychiatrist credited with changing how society views death, died in her Scottsdale, Ariz., home Aug. 24 after a long illness and several strokes.

With her 1969 book On Death and Dying, Dr. Kubler-Ross broke new ground in writing about the experiences of terminally ill people, including their stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The first of triplet sisters born July 8, 1926, in Switzerland, she graduated from the University of Zurich medical school in 1957 and served her internships and residencies at hospitals in New York before moving to Denver in 1962 and beginning her work with dying patients.

From 1965 to 1977, she worked in the Chicago area before moving her practice to Virginia and then retiring to Arizona in 1995.

Her Web site (link), states that Dr. Kubler-Ross was "appalled by the standard treatment of dying patients" and made it a point to sit with them and listen to what they had to say about what they were experiencing. "They were shunned and abused; nobody was honest with them," she wrote on her Web site. "My goal was to break through the layer of professional denial that prohibited patients from airing their innermost concerns."

In 1999, Time magazine named her one of "The Century's Greatest Minds," and the more than 20 books she wrote have been translated into at least 28 languages. Her books include: To Live Until We Say Good-Bye; On Children and Death; AIDS: The Ultimate Challenge; and her autobiography, The Wheel of Life. She is survived by a sister, son, daughter and two granddaughters.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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