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(1962). Psychosomatic Medicine. XXIII, 1961: Predilection to Death. Avery D. Weisman and Thomas P. Hackett. Pp. 232-256.. Psychoanal Q., 31:426.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychosomatic Medicine. XXIII, 1961: Predilection to Death. Avery D. Weisman and Thomas P. Hackett. Pp. 232-256.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:426

Psychosomatic Medicine. XXIII, 1961: Predilection to Death. Avery D. Weisman and Thomas P. Hackett. Pp. 232-256.

Predilection to death during or after surgery is part of medical folklore but no experimental work has substantiated these speculations. This paper describes a few patients who seemed to predict their deaths correctly and who faced death without apparent anxiety, depression, or conflict. The authors concede that data relative to attitudes toward death and dying may be difficult to collect.

Sketches are given of five patients, their ages ranging from fourteen to eighty-six, who faced death with unusual equanimity or evinced a predilection to death which seemed appropriate to the patient. Each appeared to be free of conflict about the expected or predicted death; however, in no case is sufficient data present to elucidate the defensive dynamics which presumably were operative.

The authors differentiate impersonal, interpersonal, and intrapersonal elements in the attitudes toward death. Death as an impersonal event relates to death of an impersonal object, interpersonal attitudes are experienced toward death of a personal object, and intrapersonal death is related to the subjective experience.

Discussion of a number of cases of dying patients enables the authors to make a few suggestions regarding effective psychotherapeutic measures.

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Article Citation

(1962). Psychosomatic Medicine. XXIII, 1961. Psychoanal. Q., 31:426

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