Document Type


Publication Date

January 2006


Beliefs and practices concerning death have changed throughout human history. In pre-modern times, death at a young age was common due to living conditions and medical practices. As medical science has advanced and helped humans live longer, attitudes and responses to death also have changed. In modern Western societies, death is often ignored or feared. Changes in lifestyles and improved medical science have depersonalized death and made it an encroachment on life instead of part of life. This has left many people ill equipped to deal with death when it touches their lives.



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