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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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The expansive years (1968–1985)

The expansive years (1968–1985)

(p.125) Part 2 The expansive years (1968–1985) (p.126)
Cicely Saunders – Founder of the Hospice Movement

David Clark

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the expansion of the St. Christopher's Hospice, founded by Cicely Saunders. The opening of the hospice marked the culmination of Saunders's vocation, but it also marked the beginning of its true purpose. After its opening, its principles and ideas were challenged, its policies were refined and developed, and its credibility had to be earned. Above all, the hospice was put to the test as a vehicle and source of inspiration in Britain and all around the world. From the official opening of the hospice in 1967, to 1985, Saunders served as the hospice's Medical Director. She juggled her time with daily clinical work and organizational responsibilities, including financial duties. Saunders also travelled, lecturing and writing her insights on palliative care to inspire people. In this period, a growing recognition was developing for the movement she had founded and for her worldwide contribution to the care of the dying. Summing up Saunders' success were various awards and honours, including a rewarding personal life that eventually led to marriage. In addition to discussing the successes and expansion of the hospice, the chapter also discusses the personal convictions of Saunders. She placed emphasis on personhood; on the need for a group that would address psychological, spiritual, and bereavement needs; and on the right to die, wherein she firmly stood against euthanasia.

Keywords:   expansion, St. Christopher's Hospice, hospice, 1967, 1985, Medical Director, clinical work, palliative care, marriage, personal convictions

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