The end of death in late modernity: An emerging public health challenge

Allan Kellehear*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Health promotion discourses often assume that death and loss are someone else's business—usually palliative care or bereavement care. Palliative care and bereavement care, in their turn, provide direct service, acute care approaches to death and loss. Between these two approaches, little health promotion is evidenced. This paper critiques the assumptions both make about death in late modernity arguing that death and loss are increasingly social experiences for people that require active support and community development from the ‘new’ public health. The past therapeutic emphasis and the secularized view of death are receding. A new approach to death and loss is needed and the new public health may have an important major role to play in addressing these changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalCritical Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date21 Aug 2007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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