Thanatológiai Szemle

elektronikus folyóirat


IX. évfolyam



Dear Reader,

While editing the present contracted issue of Kharón we didn’t strive to increase the number of studies this time but our aim was to help our Readers who want to more thoroughly get informed within certain topics by publishing fewer but more fully elaborated articles.

It is now a tradition that our journal begins with lyric lines and the poem of János Géczi, winner of Móricz-scholarship and Gizella and Salvatore Quasimodo prices is rightly worth considering. (Volumes: Book of Forbidden Imageries /novel/ Bp., Ister, 2005., Ballad of Only One Snare /Poems) Szeged, Tiszatáj, 2005., Transmission of Knowledge Education science studies, School culture books, Pécs, 2005.) The figure of Lazar of the New Testament is a beloved character of poetry, by his resuscitation he became a symbol of redemption and resurrection. In the poem of János Géczi the petition of Lazar who returned from death and who wrangles with the Lord and also himself sounds as a cry for help predicting the torture of Christ’s redemption.

Professor Reimer Gronemeyer is the leader of the task force of sociology at the University of Giessen that performed a survey in 2003-2004 examining the palliative care system of 16 European countries. The portion of the study published in 2004 - which you can read in translation - is a summary of the results, a brief review and comparison of care systems examined in qualitative and quantitative aspects. Factors forcing and influencing the development of the palliative care form have generated movements across Europe that seek the way within the new, altered circumstances and often are started by private initiatives on the ground of similar tendencies. Today these home care or in-patient services are - more or less successfully - integrated in the official health care system and operate in an organized form. Beside the dissection of differences between eastern and western countries that start with dissimilar historic backgrounds, the way of national financing, professional education, the role of volunteering helpers, euthanasia and other interesting problems the study draws the attention on dangers that project the image of uniformized death that neglects cultural differences. Beyond factual information the study aims the attention on possible ways of palliative care development.

The second study of our journal examines the same questions in a more narrow region right within the given interval. In Hungary the national financing of palliative institutional and home care could be started in the December of 2004, one criterion of inclusion in the supported group was operation of a formerly elaborated quality guidance system. Based on a questionnaire survey Irén Berta Szabóné who herself took part in the elaboration of the aspect system has examined the way of switch to the quality guidance system in the financed institutes, the measure to which the given professionals know the system and to which they can use it. Beyond presenting the descriptive statistics the author examines the problems which emerged during the system’s practical use and on the basis of the drawn conclusions she sketches the tasks to be solved in order to develop the quality of the suppliers.

As our Readers have already seen our journal voluntarily hosts every now and then to theses or diploma works that fit into our topic. This time we introduce a portion of the essay of Attila Matkócsik who recently graduated at the Faculty of History of the Károlyi Gáspar University of Science, which is on the death and funeral of György Bánffy (1660-1708), the gubernator of Transylvania. Based on direct sources and comparative studies we get acquainted with baroque ceremonies, the peculiarities of Transylvanian aristocratic funerals that are accurate reflectors of the mentality, world concept and relation to death of an era. Funeral ceremonies start to have an important role mainly as an effect of the counter-reformation. Burial pomp becomes theatrical and emphasizes the power aspects of important people receiving dignified funeral. In the death of notabilities the apotheosis of earthly values and exemplary of nice death is incarnated as a community act.

In the name of the editorial board I wish useful and meaty time to all of our Readers!

Ildikó Horányi
senior editor







Palliative Care in Europe

In: Helfen am Ende des Lebens - Hospizarbeit und Palliative Care in Europa. Schriftenreihe der Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Hospiz e. V. Band VII. Wuppertal, Hospiz Verlag, 2004. 20-51.


Hospice care in the reflect of quality guidance

In 2003-2004 on the grounds of the Hungarian Hospice-Palliative Association’s request I participated as one of the two experts in the elaboration of the quality guidance aspect system of the hospice model program that is operating still today. As a continuation of this I have chosen the quality guidance oriented position survey of hospice organizations. The aim of the research was to assess the ration of organizations possessing operating inner or outer quality guidance system at the beginning of their hospice activity. I suppose that a great part of the organizations don’t know the rules of indicator-configuration and that they don’t or just partly have written regulators, protocols. I investigated how smooth the permit procedure went. Since there is no possibility to finance every types of hospice care it was also a question if the suppliers find it important to include each care form in the financing scope and not least I assessed the qualification of those working in the care and their participation at retrainings.


Theatre of dying- The dying gubernator of Transylvania

In the hereby reviewed study I deal with dying and the theatre of dying. With dying in an age - the age of baroque - in which events of expiry, the way of dying is codificated for centuries. The church and of course the social environment around the individual have requirements towards dying and the one who is dying. They outlined the concept of ’good death’ and established behavioral rules for those dying and for their environment. We could even say that they assigned some kind of ’range of motion’ for the dying person, and if it was exceeded the person had to pay a great price: the loss of salvation. Similarly to funerals dying was an organized, public and thus communal event or performance which was directed by death and the lead was played - naturally - by the dying person.

The subject of the main part of the study is funeral, ’the mournful theatre of public bitterness’. Funeral is the ceiling of baroque aristocratic ceremonies and here we see the same organization and publicity as in the case of dying. Furthermore, baroque aristocratic funeral is an accurate vehicle of togetherness of the family and also expresses the representation of the given families. Funeral is an accurate mirror of the era’s mentality and world concept in which the era’s way of thinking is highly reflected. This is demonstrate by the dying of György Bánffy (1660-1708), the gubernator of Transylvania.