Death Rejection Score (DRS) – A New Qualitative Measurement System For Adjustment With Death

Ethel Gonzales

In the year of 2003 a research was conducted in Bangladesh under the supervision of Bircham International University on a subject relating to the adjustment of death (of oneself) as a natural fact for every healthy individual. As during the time of research no such similar previous study were available on the topic, some self-arranged scoring system had to be established in order to measure some critical criteria like adjustment with the phenomenon of death.

Among all the researches on the acceptance of death for the dying or terminally ill person, the Kubler-Ross’s research is the most significant. It yielded a staging of the acceptance of the truth for the dying. The stages were 1) denial, 2) anger, 3) bargaining, 4) depression, and 5) acceptance. For the purpose of the convenience of the research, in Bangladesh, the stages were reviewed in a reverse manner. Thus the stages, in the reverse manner, turned to the stages or levels of rejecting death. It was clearly evident from the Kubler-Ross research that the earlier stages, described by her, were less mature and the later stages were more mature in terms of adjustment with death. So in the sense of ordinal scoring with the reverse sequence of the stages of Kubler-Ross, it was assumed that acceptance stage should get the least score from the view point of rejecting death. Thus depression, bargaining, anger and denial stages should get the scores in a gradually increasing manner. As it was a qualitative measurement approach, scoring by ordinal manner was the most feasible option too. But one thing that was kept in mind that accepting death fully (100%) should not be accounted as a normal event because it is the highest sort of stress in all the psychiatric and psychological stress scales. So finally the name for the score against the stages was chosen as the “Death Rejection Score” (DRS) that stood as follows:

Death Rejection Scores (DRS)

Stage………………………………………………………………………………………Score

Acceptance————————————————————————–01

Depression————————————————————————–02

Bargaining ————————————————————————–03

Anger———————————————————————————04

Denial——————————————————————————–05

This scoring was successfully used for the procedure of the research. The results were tabulated and statistical calculation yielded significant inference. Finally when the research was submitted to the academic board of the university, it was accepted and also graded as an ‘Excellent’ one. It is worth mentioning that the staging of Kubler-Ross was meant for the dying, but the DRS was meant for anybody who knows that he or she will die someday but does not know how or when.

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