The full content of Annals is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >
Special Article |

Intimations of Mortality: An Appreciation of Death and Dying

Ann Intern Med. 1968;69(1):137-152. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-69-1-137
Text Size: A A A

Students of medicine receive little (if any) specific instruction in the care of the dying. This likely reflects the conflicted feelings of physicians (and society) about it. Studies reveal that physicians are afraid of death in greater proportion than patients.

The physician's role in caring for the dying has been defined by Feder: "I don't have any idea how to help a person to die, but I am sure we can do much to help a person to live until the time of death." This living, as any life, should entail dignity, respect, and humanity. The immediate threat of dying is isolation, a condition that a hospital, as an agent of society, does much to impose.

To be graceful among the dying requires the physician to become aware of his feelings about death. With energies neurotically encumbered, graceful use of the self is not likely. Death can be natural if we will make it so; it is not a taboo surrounded by disapproval or shame.





Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Submit a Comment/Letter
Submit a Comment/Letter

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.


Buy Now for $42.00

to gain full access to the content and tools.

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Topic Collections
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.