Cicely Saunders - Hospice

Mention the word "hospice," and hundreds of thousands of people know immediately you're talking of care for the terminally ill. In London, in the 1960s, Cicely Saunders, a medical doctor and social worker with a compassion for the dying, introduced a radical new way to treat the terminally ill. Motivated by her reading of Psalm 37, she called it "hospice care." It's based on three key principles: 1) the control of pain, and 2) an environment of family or community.

Over the years, her own Christian faith confirmed her third principle: the intersection of faith and dying. Dr. Saunders opened St. Christopher's hospice in London in 1967, dedicated to patient treatment, teaching, and research, and open to all people. The first US hospice opened in 1971. Cicely Saunders died in 2005, in the hospice she founded.

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