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Cicely Saunders – Founder of the Hospice MovementSelected letters 1959–1999$
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David Clark

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198569695

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198569695.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Cicely Saunders – Founder of the Hospice Movement

David Clark

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the author's treatment of the voluminous letters of Cicely Sauders, who was regarded as the founder of the modern hospice movement. A woman of resilience, vision, and dedication to the care of dying, she was often the subject of written accounts. This book presents a different view of Saunders through her letters. In it, the author allowed Saunders' letters to tell their own story of her life. The book concentrates on the 40 years of correspondence of Saunders from 1959 to 1999. Preference is given to letters that she personally wrote and preserved. The book offers a perspective on the life of Saunders through a selection of her correspondence. It begins by revealing her motivation to study the dilemmas of caring for dying people, and offers perspective on the achievements and developments that took place in St. Christopher's Hospice. The book provides insight into the expanding knowledge of the hospice and the transition to a wider perspective on palliative care. It also illustrates the changing role of Saunders in the hospice she founded, including her strong convictions, such as the importance of spirituality within the palliative setting. The book also discusses her antagonism against euthanasia, inadequate care, and lack of respect for personhood, and paints her relationships with three Polish men who had a great impact on her adult life. It book is divided into three parts: the years of establishing St. Christopher's Hospice; the years in which Saunders was Medical Director; and the years in which she was the Chairman, until 1999.

Keywords:   Cicely Sauders, modern hospice movement, letters, correspondence of Saunders, motivation of Saunders, dying people, St. Christopher's Hospice, hospice, palliative care, changing roles

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