Cicely Saunders

(1916—2005) physician and founder of the modern hospice movement

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(1918–2005) Dame Cicely Mary Strode Saunders is credited as the founder of the modern hospice and palliative care movement. She began her career as a ward nurse in London in 1941. There she cared for dying patients until a back injury in 1944 caused her to return to Oxford, where she became a hospital almoner (a medical social worker). By listening to patients’ narratives she realized the dehumanizing impact of unrelieved suffering and envisioned opportunities for improved practice. This awakened in Saunders an awareness of dying as a uniquely personal journey, and inspired a dream to offer holistic care in a more home-like environment.


From Encyclopedia of Social Work in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Social Work.

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