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The changing face of death: Implications for public health

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Palliative care and bereavement care attempt to foster greater dignity in death and loss. Yet the former has been criticised for 'creeping medicalisation' and the latter for individualising grief and loss to the 'talking therapies'. In a broad sense, amongst the dying, their communities and advocates, there is growing recognition of the positive aspects of more collective responses to death to integrate the dying, public health and community. In response to Kellehear's call for public health to consider the above issues as a matter of priority, this essay describes the changing way death has been experienced and managed in empirical, conceptual, and theoretical terms. It then moves on to explore the implications for public health.
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Keywords: 'good death'; Death and loss; community involvement; disadvantaged dying; regulating death

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Health and Social Care, Middlesbrough TS1, 3BA, UK

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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