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Updated August 10, 2009

Definition: From the greek thanatos, meaning death, thanatology is the study of death and dying. The focus of thanatology is primarily on the social and psychological aspects of death and dying.

It's primarily an interdisciplinary study, frequently undertaken by professionals in nursing, psychology, sociology, psychiatry, and social work. Thanatology is often studied by secular scholars and professionals as well. Thanatologists study the dying process, the grieving process, and social attitudes toward death including ritual and memorialization.

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