A review of current theories of death and dying


  • Gina Copp RGN RCNT DipN MN PhD

    1. Lecturer in Cancer Care, Centre for Cancer and Palliative Care, Institute of Cancer Research, University of London, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Stewart’s Grove, Fulham Road, London SW3 6JJ, England
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Recently, attention has been focused on the care of dying individuals and their families. Although this area of care remains topical for health care professionals, there have been few attempts undertaken to explore critically both the seminal and more recent theories of death and dying in order to extend and develop the theoretical scope and orientation of this field further. The purpose of this paper is therefore twofold: first, to provide a general overview of the current theories of death and dying, and second, to discuss some specific and general contributions and limitations of the current theories. To this end, a review of seminal and more recent theoretical frameworks is presented in this paper. Implications for future research in theory development in the field of death and dying are highlighted.