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Dame Cicely Saunders: Founder of the modern hospice movement

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Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement who was repsonsible for developing the discipline and culture of palliative care, died on the 14th July 2005. She insisted that dying people have effective pain control and the respect, dignity and compassion that they deserve. She founded St. Christopher’s Hospice in south west London in 1965, and was the medical director from 1965-1985.

Dame Cicely Mary Strode Saunders (b. 1918, Hertfordshire, d. 2005, London), was the creator and founder of the modern hospice movement as we know it today. She founded St. Christopher’s Hospice in 1967 where patients could die comfortably and peacefully under her care. A natural born leader and spokesperson, Dame Cicely Saunders believed that the ethic that all patients should be cured was incorrect, and that is was acceptable to lie to them about their prognosis. She believed that pain control should not about waiting for the medication to wear off before administering another dose and dismissed the issue of opiate dependence. Her efforts to aid the dying have had her compared to Florence Nightingale. For more information on the life of this remarkable woman, please visit the URL below.

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Posted On: 19 July, 2005
Modified On: 16 January, 2014


Created by: myVMC