History of Thanatology
In 1915 American psychologist Herman Feifel manifested the modern death movement, changing the way people understand death, illuminating the importance of conveying feelings about death and the psychological needs of the dying. Herman published The Meaning of Death in 1959 a piece of writing that would galvanize the interest for psychologists to study death. Prior to publication, Feifel joined the Air Force in 1942 as a psychologist for pilots during WWII and became very intrigued that the best pilots didn’t think about death (Herman, 1990). In addition, during the screening of pilots they were never asked about how they felt about death, what woul...
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... exact definition, but a forever metamorphosing idea that changes in the understanding of death through the decades.
Through the extensive research and commitment of Feifel, Becker, and Freud Thanatology has gained a new light in modem society, but still harvests their iconic theories. Today, Thanatology has adopted multiple theories, attitudes, and has transformed into an evolving concept that can be analyzed on a multitude of levels. Universities are beginning to offer more courses involving death, in hope to provide students with the knowledge and understanding of the death process. Thus, Freud’s work will continue to help society understand how the brain conceptualizes death aiding in the learning process of death, and help continue the spread and rectify the importance Thanatology not just in society, but particularly in the nursing profession.
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