Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth

Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth ko͞oˈblər-rôsˈ [key], 1926–2004, American psychiatrist, b. Switzerland. After studying medicine at the Univ. of Zürich (M.D. 1957), Kübler-Ross became a pioneer in the field of thanatology, the study of death and dying. Her influential On Death and Dying (1969) mapped out a five-stage framework to explain the experience of dying patients, which progressed through denial, anger, “bargaining for time,” depression, and acceptance. Kübler-Ross was the author of a number of other books on the subject, and her work has had lasting significance among the medical community, who have generally become more responsive to the needs of dying patients and their families. She was also a powerful force behind the movement for creating a hospice care system.

See her memoir, Wheel of Life (1997).

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