Dame Cicely Mary Saunders: Hospice Creator
Saunders is widely recognized as the founder of the modern hospice movement, and her contributions have had a profound impact on end-of-life care around the world.
Dame Cicely Mary Strode Saunders was an English nurse, social worker, and physician who revolutionized the field of palliative care. She was born on June 22, 1918, in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, and died in London on July 14, 2005.
Saunders' Contributions to Hospice and Palliative Care
Saunders' experiences as a nurse and social worker made her acutely aware of the physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering experienced by patients at the end of their lives. She realized that existing systems of care were inadequate for meeting the needs of the dying and their families. In the early 1960s, Saunders began volunteering at St. Joseph's Hospice in Hackney, East London, where she began to develop her vision for a new approach to end-of-life care.
In 1967, Saunders founded St. Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, South London. St. Christopher's was the first modern hospice in the world, and its approach to care emphasized the relief of pain and suffering, as well as the provision of emotional, social, and spiritual support to patients and their families. Saunders believed that hospice care should be holistic and patient-centred, allowing patients to die with dignity and respect.
Saunders' work at St. Christopher's Hospice helped to establish the modern hospice movement, which has since spread around the world. Her vision has transformed the way we think about death and dying, and her work has improved the lives of countless patients and families.
Saunders' work at St. Christopher's Hospice and her advocacy for better end-of-life care helped to establish the modern hospice movement, which has since spread around the world. Today, hospices provide care and support to millions of people every year, and Saunders' vision has become a cornerstone of palliative care.
In recognition of her contributions to medicine and end-of-life care, Saunders was awarded many honours and awards, including a damehood from Queen Elizabeth II. She also authored several books on end-of-life care and was a respected speaker and advocate for better care for the dying.
Dame Cicely Mary Strode Saunders' legacy continues to inspire and guide the field of palliative care. Her vision of hospice care as a holistic, patient-centred approach to end-of-life care has transformed the way we think about death and dying, and her work has improved the lives of countless patients and families around the world. Thank you Dame Cicely for showing us a more caring way!