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Related to Thanatology: Thanatos


The study of the phenomenon of somatic death.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thanatology has a rightful place in medical studies, but I content that medical professionals need not to be unduly concerned about the different forms of afterlife existences, the borderland between religion and thanatology.
(8) Journals of thanatology include Death Studies, Omega--Journal of Death and Dying, Grief Matters: The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement, Journal of Loss and Trauma, Mortality Journal, Living with Loss, and Illness, Crisis and Loss.
Unlike music therapy, which uses music to address peoples' physical, emotional, and cognitive needs, music thanatology comforts dying patients with the soothing notes of a harp and vocal music.
Introduction research that matters: Bridging the gap between research and practice in thanatology. Death Studies, 24(6), 457-468.
Dana Gerard Cable (Hood College former chapter president), 66, surely had the right outlook on the end of life since the Hood College professor, licensed psychologist, and grief counselor was a leader in the fields of gerontology and thanatology. His publications included the book, Death and Dying: The Universal Experiences, and he served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care and Omega: Journal of Death and Dying.
Debates continue in the thanatology literature about the bereavement process and appropriate wording to describe this process.
The Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) is a multidisciplinary professional organization that shares information relevant to death education, care of the dying, grief counseling, and thanatology in general.
In addition to her health career background, she has been certified in Thanatology (the academic and practical knowledge of dying, death, grief and mourning) in association with her work with Dr.
The students in the thanatology program all had at least one advanced degree.
TABLE 1 Mexican University Psychology and Counseling Graduate Programs Degree Name of School Doctoral Master's Alliant International No Yes; Counseling University Psychology Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla No Yes; Social Psychology and Diagnostic and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Centro Eleia Yes; Clinical Yes; Psychoanalytic Psychoanalysis Psychotherapy CETYS Universidad Yes; Psychology Yes; Psychology (five concentrations) Instituto No Yes; Transpersonal Universitario Psychology, Thanatology A.C.
Therefore, early theoretical frameworks were derived from thanatology (stages of dying) and social gerontology (the study of the aging process) (Wylleman, Lavallee, & Alfermann, 1999).