This introductory chapter discusses briefly the history of care of the dying in the Anglo-Saxon countries. It reveals that the development of modern urban-industrial society was marked by a demographic transition and an epidemiological evolution. The chapter then identifies the common causes of death in modern society, late-modern society, and even during the nineteenth-century. The British model of the hospice is mentioned in passing. The introduction also includes a short overview of the seven chapters that folow it.
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