|Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross|
July 8, 1926|
|Died||August 24, 2004
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
|Institutions||University of Chicago|
|Known for||Kübler-Ross model|
|Influenced||Caroline Myss, Vern Barnet, Bruce Greyson, Sogyal Rinpoche|
|Spouse||Manny Ross (1958–1979)|
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (July 8, 1926 – August 24, 2004) was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief.
She was a 2007 inductee into the American National Women's Hall of Fame. She was the recipient of twenty honorary degrees and by July 1982 had taught, in her estimation, 125,000 students in death and dying courses in colleges, seminaries, medical schools, hospitals, and social-work institutions. In 1970, she delivered The Ingersoll Lectures on Human Immortality at Harvard University, on the theme, On Death and Dying.
Birth and education
Elisabeth Kübler was born on July 8, 1926 in Zürich, Switzerland, one of triplets. Elisabeth was born fifteen minutes before her identical sister, Erika. Minutes later came her sister, Eva. Her family were Protestant Christians. Her father did not want her to study medicine, but she persisted. Eventually her father took pride in her career. In an interview she stated:
In Switzerland I was educated in line with the basic premise: work work work. You are only a valuable human being if you work. This is utterly wrong. Half working, half dancing - that is the right mixture. I myself have danced and played too little.
In 1958 she married a fellow medical student from America, Emanuel ("Manny") Ross, and moved to the United States. Becoming pregnant disqualified her from a residency in pediatrics, so she took one in psychiatry. After suffering two miscarriages, she had a son, Kenneth, and a daughter, Barbara, in the early 1960s. Her husband requested a divorce in 1979.
Kübler-Ross moved to New York in 1958 to work and continued her studies.
As she began her psychiatric residency, she was appalled by the hospital treatment of patients in the U.S. who were dying. She began giving a series of lectures featuring terminally ill patients, forcing medical students to face people who were dying.
In 1962 she accepted a position at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Kübler-Ross completed her training in psychiatry in 1963, and moved to Chicago in 1965. She became an instructor at the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine. She developed there a series of seminars using interviews with terminal patients, which drew both praise and criticism. She sometimes questioned the practices of traditional psychiatry that she observed. She also undertook 39 months of classical psychoanalysis training in Chicago.
Her extensive work with the dying led to the book On Death and Dying in 1969. In it, she proposed the now famous Five Stages of Grief as a pattern of adjustment: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In general, individuals experience most of these stages when faced with their imminent death. The five stages have since been adopted by many as applying to the survivors of a loved one's death, as well.
In 1977 she persuaded her husband to buy forty acres of land in Escondido, California, near San Diego, where she founded "Shanti Nilaya" (Home of Peace). She intended it as a healing center for the dying and their families. She was also a co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Association.
In the late 1970s, she became interested in out-of-body experiences, mediumship, spiritualism, and other ways of attempting to contact the dead. This led to a scandal connected to the Shanti Nilaya Healing Center, in which she was duped by Jay Barham, founder of the Church of the Facet of the Divinity. Claiming he could channel the spirits of the departed and summon ethereal "entities", he encouraged church members to engage in sexual relations with the "spirits". He may have hired several women to play the parts of female spirits for this purpose. Kubler-Ross' friend Deanna Edwards attended a service to ascertain whether allegations against Barham were true. He was found to be naked and wearing only a turban when Edwards unexpectedly pulled masking tape off the light switch and flipped on the light.
One of her greatest wishes was her plan to build a hospice for infants and children infected with HIV to give them a last home where they could live until their death, inspired by the aid-project of British doctor Cicely Saunders. In 1985 she attempted to do this in Virginia, but local residents feared the possibility of infection and blocked the necessary re-zoning. In 1994, she lost her house and possessions to an arson fire that is suspected to have been set by opponents of her AIDS work.
Kübler-Ross suffered a series of strokes in 1995 which left her partially paralyzed on her left side, and the Shanti Nilaya Healing Center closed around that time. She found living in a wheelchair, slowly waiting for death to come, an unbearable suffering, and wished to be able to determine her time of death. In a 2002 interview with The Arizona Republic, she stated that she was ready for death. She died in 2004 at her home in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was buried at the Paradise Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
- Doctor of Science, H.C., Albany Medical College, New York 1974
- Doctor of Laws, University of Notre Dame, IN.,1974
- Doctor of Science, Smith College 1975
- Doctor of Science, Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY, 1976
- Doctor of Humanities, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN. 1975
- Doctor of Laws, Hamline University, MN. 1975
- Doctor of Humane Letters, Amherst College, MA. 1975
- Doctor of Humane Letters, Loyola University, IL 1975
- Doctor of Humanities, Hood College, MD 1976
- Doctor of Letters, Rosary College, IL. 1976
- Doctor of Pedagogy, Keuka College, NY 1976
- Doctor of Humane Science, University of Miami, FL 1976
- Doctor of Humane Letters, Bard College, NY 1977
- Doctor of Science, Weston MA., 1977
- Honorary Degree, Anna Maria College, MA., 1978
- Doctor of Humane Letters, Union College, New York 1978
- Doctor of Humane Letters, D'Youville College, New York 1979
- Doctor of Science, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1979
- Doctor of Divinity, 1996
- On Death & Dying, (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone), 1969
- Questions & Answers on Death & Dying, (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone), 1972
- Death: The Final Stage of Growth, (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone), 1974
- Questions and Answers on Death and Dying: A Memoir of Living and Dying, Macmillan, 1976. ISBN 0-02-567120-0.
- To Live Until We Say Goodbye, (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone), 1978
- The Dougy Letter -A Letter to a Dying Child, (Celestial Arts/Ten Speed Press), 1979
- Quest, Biography of EKR (Written with Derek Gill), (Harper & Row), 1980
- Working It Through, (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone), 1981
- Living with Death & Dying, (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone), 1981
- Remember the Secret, (Celestial Arts/Ten Speed Press), 1981
- On Children & Death, (Simon & Schuster), 1985
- AIDS: The Ultimate Challenge, (Simon & Schuster), 1988
- On Life After Death, (Celestial Arts), 1991
- Death Is of Vital Importance, (Out of Print- Now The Tunnel and the Light), 1995
- Unfolding the Wings of Love (Germany only - Silberschnur), 1996
- Making the Most of the Inbetween, (Various Foreign), 1996
- AIDS & Love, The Conference in Barcelona, (Spain), 1996
- Longing to Go Back Home, (Germany only - Silberschnur), 1997
- Working It Through: An Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Workshop on Life, Death, and Transition, Simon & Schuster, 1997. ISBN 0-684-83942-3.
- The Wheel of Life: A Memoir of Living and Dying, (Simon & Schuster/Scribner), 1997
- Why Are We Here, (Germany only - Silberschnur), 1999
- The Tunnel and the Light, (Avalon), 1999
- Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living, with David Kessler, Scribner, 2001. ISBN 0-684-87074-6.
- On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss, with David Kessler. Scribner, 2005. ISBN 0-7432-6628-5.
- Real Taste of Life: A photographic Journal
- Broom, Sarah M. (Aug 30, 2004). "Milestones". TIME.
- "Elisabeth Kübler-Ross". Women of the Hall. National Women's Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 3 January 2008.
- Turn on, tune in, drop dead by Ron Rosenbaum, HARPER'S, July 1982, pages 32-42
- Newman, Laura. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. (2004). British Medical Journal, 329 (7466), 627. Retrieved November 17, 2006.
- Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth
- Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1997). The Wheel of Life.
- Sex, Visitors from the Grave, Psychic Healing: Kubler-Ross Is a Public Storm Center Again by Karen G. Jackovich. In People, October 29, 1979, page found 2011-03-05.
- Playboy Interview with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Playboy Magazine, May, 1981
- TIME.com, The Conversion of Kubler-Ross, TIME, November 12, 1979
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the Afterworld of Entities by Kate Coleman, New West, 30 July 1979
- Kinofenster.de (German)
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On life After Death, Foreword by Caroline Myss p.vii. Celestial Arts. ISBN 9781587613180
- Quest: The Life of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, by Derek Gill. Ballantine Books (Mm), 1982. ISBN 0-345-30094-7.
- The Life Work of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and Its Impact on the Death Awareness Movement, by Michèle Catherine Gantois Chaban. E. Mellen Press, 2000. ISBN 0-7734-8302-0.
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: Encountering Death and Dying, by Richard Worth. Published by Facts On File, Inc., 2004. ISBN 0-7910-8027-7.
- Tea With Elisabeth tributes to Hospice Pioneer Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, complied by Fern Stewart Welch, Rose Winters and Ken Ross, Published by Quality of Life Publishing Co 2009 ISBN 978-0-9816219-9-9
- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: Facing Death (2003) (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross – Dem Tod ins Gesicht sehen) Director & writer Stefan Haupt, 98 min
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Elisabeth Kübler-Ross|
- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation
- Women's International Center biography
- Obituary in The Guardian
- Obituary in The Economist
- Featured on public radio's Kindred Spirits
- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross — Dem Tod ins Gesicht sehen (aka Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: Facing Death) at the Internet Movie Database a 2003 Swiss German documentary
- Publications by and about Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in the catalogue Helveticat of the Swiss National Library