(redirected from thanatological)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.


The study of the phenomenon of somatic death.



the division of medical, biological, and clinical disciplines that studies the immediate causes of death as well as thanatogenesis, or the clinical and morphological manifestations and dynamics of dying. Thanatology also studies medical intervention in the death process to revive the organism or alleviate the death agony.

A distinction is made between general and specific thanatology. General thanatology studies the overall death process, and specific thanatology studies the terminal state associated with different diseases and different causes of death. Specific thanatology involves a consecutive study of data on the course of the given disease, on the hereditary and constitutional predispositions to the disease, and on the clinical and morphologial manifestations of the disease. On the basis of these data, the clinical and anatomical epicrisis, or thanatological analysis, is made. The epicrisis is particularly important in forensic medicine and forensic thanatology.

In relation to the growing importance of the discipline of reanimatology, the field of experimental thanatology has developed. Experimental thanatology studies the cessation or restoration of the body’s vital functions during the terminal state. Clinical and experimental studies have established that the basic terminal pathogenetic factor in all forms of the death process is hypoxia, a state involving the accumulation of incompletely oxidized products in the cells and tissues. These studies have also demonstrated the important role played in the death process by the impairment of nervous function and of the hormonal, enzymatic, and ionic equilibriums.


Shor, G. V. “Tanatologiia (uchenie o smerti) pod uglom zreniia patologicheskoi anatomii.” In Trudy I Vserossiiskogo s”ezda patologov. Moscow, 1924.
Negovskii, V. A. “Osnovnye itogi patofiziologicheskogo izucheniia protsessov umiraniia i ozhivleniia organizma.” Arkhiv patologii, 1962, vol. 24, no. 7.


References in periodicals archive ?
The final chapter, 'Apercus du monde mineral: semiotique du durcissement', is (as the title hints) less exclusively focused on the thanatological theme, discussing the links between mineral imagery and a range of psychological states--'la souffrance mentale', 'la jalousie', 'l'indifference feinte'--before engaging with subjects more obviously linked to death, such as heredity and ageing.
Borrowing from thanatological discourse, Gaskell again associates Margaret with death and recalcitrance, which connects her to those corpses provoking the mid-Victorian power struggle between the middle and working classes.
The problem--how much to be merged with authority and how much to be set apart--Gaskell again wrestles with in thanatological terms in the last sections of the novel.
In order to fully comprehend the quality of Roth's thanatological critique, one should therefore keep in mind that it is paranoia--and not desire--that acts as the driving force behind Sabbath's ethos of erotic subversion.
or Freddy Thorne may not prove skillful enough to produce an almost complete forgetfulness of their thanatological origins (which, of course, was their aim all along).
Attachment styles can be viewed as parallel to the grief reactions described in the thanatological literature (Fraley & Shaver, 1999; Parkes, 2001; Shaver & Tancredy, 2001), such that persons with particular attachment patterns may be more vulnerable to particular grief-related difficulties.
1) At least two classical writers before him had inflected the last-named genre with a dark, thanatological colour.
Women in Love, Lawrence's "Book of the Dead," is the fullest and deepest exploration of his thanatological obsession.
The thanatological literature identifies the pediatric ward as a potential source of profound frustration, anguish, and personal and professional stress for caregivers, yet only one study was found that addressed the stress experienced by staff working with such children (Woolley, Stein, Forrest & Baum, 1989).
Reading them in rapid succession, in a two-day thanatological orgy, was like thumbing through a macabre flip-book that charted the entire course of the modern American right-to-die movement.
Thanatological themes in Polish sociomedical literature have been clearly discernible since the 1980s.