Healthcare Seminars


WHAT:             In-Service Training for Healthcare Professionals

TITLE:             “Overcoming the Fear of Death: Through Each of the 4 Main Belief Systems”

LENGTH:        1-2 hours (flexible)

SPEAKER:        Kelvin H. Chin

Objective of this Program for Healthcare Professionals

  • To help medical providers comply with recommendations for advance care planning conversations with their patients
  • To simplify understanding about patients’ varying beliefs about death and dying
  • To eliminate any potential gap in performance caused by the medical provider’s inability to deliver adequate healthcare to the patient due to concern for their patient’s beliefs about death and dying
  • To reduce the fear both within the medical provider and the patient around death and dying by increasing understanding and looking at death through these 4 belief lenses

“After hearing Kelvin speak, I came away feeling considerably better about my own mortality.”  ~ Sanford Danziger, MD

“It was the best in-service training we have ever had. I learned a lot today about different concepts of death.”  ~ Healthcare professional

The Approach

Over the past 30 years, as Kelvin talked with others on how they viewed death and dying, he realized that a platform on which to discuss it, that was free from the complications and disagreements that often surrounded cultural and religious perspectives on death, would be helpful.

So, he uses a framework he calls the “4 Main Belief Systems” that underlie all the existing cultural and religious (and nonreligious) beliefs about death and dying.

Kelvin has found that using the 4 Belief Systems helps healthcare professionals get a streamlined understanding of the basic beliefs of all their patients so that they, as medical professionals, can more fully attend to their patients’ needs — so they can more comfortably “be there” with their patients’ beliefs about death in a non-judgmental and more understanding way. This, in turn, helps the delivery of care and receipt of care by the patient, who then experiences the medical professionals’ acceptant attitude towards their beliefs about death, even if the professionals do not share the patient’s same beliefs.

Without having to delve deeply into the various and multifaceted cultural and religious beliefs about death that exist throughout the world, medical professionals — who are pressed for time and bandwidth as it is — gain sufficient knowledge and understanding so they can turn their full attention to the patient’s healthcare needs, and not have to waste time and energy worrying about being unable to address the patient’s beliefs about death. 

Any potential gap in performance that may have been there due to concerns about that inability will have been closed.

Kelvin’s Personal Story

How I got started in helping others with death and dying issues:

My mom died suddenly when I was fairly young in my early 30’s. She was only 55, and vibrant, full of life. She had lung cancer that metastasized to her brain, yet was asymptomatic. Her death was a watershed moment in my life. She was gone so quickly, in a matter of a few short months. And I hardly had time to say goodbye. 

So, I started thinking more deeply about death and dying, and eventually started helping others — friends and colleagues who knew my mom had died — with their issues around the deaths of their loved ones. I did it on the side, nights and weekends, while I held down my “day job” in corporate and legal services.

Kelvin Chin’s Bio    

Kelvin Chin is an author, trainer and executive director of the Overcoming the Fear of Death Foundation (, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization he founded to help people reduce their fears about death and dying through a nonreligious approach of increasing understanding through the 4 Main Belief Systems that underlie all cultural and religious beliefs. 

Working with audiences on death and dying issues since the 1980’s, Kelvin has taught numerous seminars for the healthcare and legal industries, was a state-certified Long Term Care Ombudsman for the California Department of Aging, and co-founded the Center for Medical Ethics and Mediation.

Through tailored training seminars to healthcare professionals, Kelvin currently helps them both understand and overcome their own fears about death, as well as those of their patients who may have very different beliefs and views of death and dying. He is also a certified Grief Recovery specialist, and works with professionals in a confidential manner to help them move forward with their lives’ past debilitating experiences that involve grief, especially over the death of friends or loved ones.

Kelvin speaks internationally, has spoken at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, and has been on TV, radio, and podcasts. His interview in “Business Insider” magazine has had more than 20,000 views, and is a top Google search result for the words “fear of death.” This has led to international interest in his work from more than 20 countries, including England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Lithuania, China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, and the Philippines. 

His book “Overcoming the Fear of Death: Through Each of the 4 Main Belief Systems” (2016) is now available worldwide. 

Kelvin is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Yale Graduate School, and Boston College Law School.

Excerpt from Kelvin’s book,
“Overcoming the Fear of Death” (2016)

“As caregivers, whether we are professional ones or not, we are there to support. Not to convince or persuade our patients or loved ones of our beliefs about death or dying. At those moments — when we are at their bedside — our role is to set aside our beliefs. Our job is to “be there” with them. Fully. And that means accepting them for who they are — including their beliefs about death, however different they may be from ours. 

“To do that effectively and genuinely, we must be comfortable with our own beliefs about death — and ideally with our own fears about death — as well as be aware and cognizant of their beliefs. We must at least be aware enough to navigate their beliefs to the degree discussed in this book. at does not mean we need to understand all the details — whether culturally or religiously — of their beliefs about death and dying. But it does mean that we need to be comfortable enough with the full range of beliefs about death, as to make them feel comfortable in our acceptant attitude — which will then be reflected in our nonverbal behavior and verbal communications with them.

“If we are at least successful to that level, then they will feel our genuine acceptance of their beliefs. They will feel our love for them in that way. And they will feel healed by us, by that mere interjection of unspoken understanding and acceptance. 

“And we will — that much more fully — have done our job as a caregiver. 

“We will have then helped that patient or loved one ease through the dying process in a way that no amount of money or materiality can measure. We will have given them a gift easing their pain and suffering, and increasing their comfort from within that should be an integral part of how we — in our humanity — treat each other at that very special moment in our life.”

Contact Information

Kelvin Chin
Executive Director & Founder
Overcoming the Fear of Death Foundation
(202) 870-9999


“Overcoming the Fear of Death” 
In-Service Staff Training
led by Kelvin Chin
for Addus HomeCare




94 total Feedback Questionnaires Submitted

90% Reported Lower Fear Level after lecture &/or Stated Benefits learned

10% Level of Fear stayed the same after lecture (no stated benefits learned)


97% Positive Comments

73.4% of the entire group of 94 noted a Positive Change (i.e., lower) in their self-rating of their Fear of Death level and/or they stated Explicit Benefits that they learned from the lecture. 

26.6% of the group of 94 noted No Change in their self-rating of their Fear of Death level and/or stated no explicit benefit. Interestingly, 60% (15 of 25) who stated no change were already at the “1” level (no fear), and out of the remaining 10, 80% were at the 5 or less level indicating that their fear levels were not that high to begin with. 

Only 2 of the 25 who stated No Change were at 6 and 8 levels (higher level of fear to start with). Therefore, almost all the people who stated a high level of fear (6 or higher) before the lecture, noted a reduction in their level of fear after the lecture.


"It was the best in-service training we have ever had!" (from 5 to 1 level of fear)

“You talked in this manner that I could understand.” (from 10 to 5)

“Great stories! This can be a very touchy topic to discuss. I almost walked out in the beginning to be honest. Very well formatted to target all belief systems on an equal status. It’s good to know a lot of people are talking and sharing this.” (from 5 to 1)

“Very nice lecture. Great voice and tone. Felt I was being spoken to personally. You are someone I would like to discuss this subject with more. I learned today about different concepts of death.” (from 2 to 2)

“Great stories! Love your speech. Let the elephant out of the room! Thank you and your father for his (military) services and your speech. I learned to look within yourself, believe in yourself, talk to others to get opinions on what they believe, don’t keep it in, talk about it & be comfortable with it.” (from 5 to 3)

“I feel Kelvin Chin did an awesome job on this topic.” (from 1 to 1)

“I wish my 16-year-old daughter was here.” (from 2 to 2)

"I’m now more open-minded of others' beliefs on the subject.” (from 1 to 1)

“Very engaging speaker.” (from 4 to 1)