Dame Cicely Saunders Biography

Part 7

Dame Cicely

Throughout her life, Dame Cicely lectured widely on the subject, wrote many articles and contributed to a great number of books. She was also involved with the creation of hospice teams around the world. She is universally recognised as the founder of the modern hospice movement and received many honours and awards for her work. In 1987, her work contributed also to the decision by The Royal College of Physicians to recognise Palliative Care as a new medical speciality. She held over twenty honorary degrees from the UK and overseas. Awards include the British Medical Association Gold Medal for services to medicine, the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, the Onassis Prize for Services to Humanity, the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms for Worship Medal. She was made a Dame of the Order of St Gregory the Great by His Holiness The Pope. Dame Cicely was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1980 and was awarded the Order of Merit by Her Majesty the Queen in 1989.

A bibliography of publications by Dame Cicely Saunders is available on the website of the End of Life Studies Unit at the University of Glasgow . An interview with Dame Cicely Saunders broadcast in 1975 features in the Women’s Hour Collection archive online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01lfp9z

Dame Cicely died on 14 July 2005 at St Christopher’s Hospice. A Service of Thanksgiving for her life and work was held at Westminster Abbey in March 2006 which was attended by nearly 2000 people.

 We used to have supper with Cicely on a regular basis. When she was well enough, she came to us. When she was less mobile, we changed the meal to lunch and I took it to her home. She always provided sherry and ginger beer, before and during the meal.  On one of her journeys she said to my husband “If one man from a poor village in India dies without pain because of what I have done, it will all have been worthwhile.” Dr Mary Baines, Emeritus Consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Christopher’s Hospice.

Dame Cicely Saunders: A Brother’s Story

The story of Dame Cicely Saunders as told by her brother Christopher

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