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Death and Dying Stages Overview

The issue of death rises numerous debatable ethical questions connected with the attitude of terminally ill patients and their relatives to it. The current paper described five stages of dying developed by Kubler-Ross that include “denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance” (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2018, p. 551). Apart from this, the paper also suggests ways of assistance to patients who are going through these stages and their families.

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The phases of grieving, listed in the preceding paragraph, were developed by Kübler-Ross in 1969 as the result of interviews with more than 200 mortally sick individuals. Denial signifies that an individual believes that the diagnosis was a mistake; anger means that a person supposes that is not fair that he or she became ill. At the stage of bargaining, a patient hopes that he or she could postpone death if certain life changes are made or until some goals are not achieved. During the depression phase, a patient sorrows because of the coming death and becomes dejected and silent. Finally, when a person accepts death, the emotions become stable and he or she makes attempts to get ready for future events. It is interesting to notice that these stages might overlap and reveal themselves in different order rather than the described sequence (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2018). People, who are going through these phases, apparently need help and assistance.

Undoubtedly, the emotions of dying people and their relatives vary in every single case. Thus, it is essential to adapt to these unique circumstances so as not to cause more harm and emotional pain. According to Kail and Cavanaugh (2018), the key purpose of the model suggested by Kubler-Ross is to “help people achieve an appropriate death” (p. 551). This way, terminally ill clients could be assisted through appropriate medical help that would alleviate physical suffering and psychological help that would facilitate them to escape the most difficult phases of acceptance of mortality. Patients, as well as family members, could undergo therapy that would teach them how to behave in this situation and that would make them believe that death is just another stage of life as well as birth and aging.


Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2018). Human development: A life-span view. Cengage Learning.

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StudyCorgi. "Death and Dying Stages Overview." January 9, 2022.


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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Death and Dying Stages Overview'. 9 January.

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