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Christmas 1965, Cicely Saunders writes to American sociologist Anselm Strauss

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Cicely Saunders

As Christmas approached in December 1965, Cicely Saunders could look back on a year of considerable achievement. After seven years, she had decided to leave St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney, where she had learned in-depth the craft of caring for dying patients. She was now devoting the whole of her time to the planning of… Continue reading

To Comfort Always: lessons from the past to inform the future at Hospice UK 2016

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David Clark at Hospice UK conference (image copyright Jonathan Goldberg jongoldberg.co.uk)

I have had close links with Hospice UK for many years, serving first as a Trustee and now as a Vice-President. So it was a real honour to be invited to give the opening plenary at the charity’s annual conference in Liverpool, in a splendid riverside setting overlooking the Mersey.  The timing was good too. … Continue reading

A bibliography of the publications of Cicely Saunders

Published on: Author: David Clark 1 Comment

When I first became seriously interested in the life and works of Cicely Saunders, back in 1995, I asked Dame Cicely for a copy of her CV. I noticed and was duly impressed that there were even a half-dozen publications listed from the decade before St Christopher’s Hospice opened, in 1967. I had no idea… Continue reading

Cicely Saunders’ book Beyond the Horizon translated into German

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Martina Holder Franz

Published in German 10 years after the death of Cicely Saunders, Der Horizont ist nur die Grenze unserer Sicht  is a worthy tribute to her and a significant contribution to the continuing Saunders legacy. Diverse in content, liberal leaning in its theology, Beyond the Horizon has roots deep in tradition and draws on several cultures,… Continue reading

The birth of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine

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Being taken round a New Zealand hospice I was amused and, let’s admit it, thrilled to see a well-worn copy of the book, its hard cover almost falling off. “Well used !” I said to the doctor. “ Yes indeed” he said:  “perfect for holding up the old piano!” Thankfully he then pointed to two… Continue reading

Hear Cicely Saunders in her final recorded interview with Professor David Clark

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Dame Cicely Saunders, photographed during her final interview with David Clark, March 2005

Dame Cicely Saunders died at St Christopher’s Hospice on 14 July 2005, at the age of 87.  This is an interview I recorded with her just a few months earlier. I first met Dame Cicely in 1995 and over the next decade we worked together on various projects. She was a keen supporter of my work… Continue reading

When palliative medicine became a specialty – by Derek Doyle

Published on: Author: David Clark 7 Comments

The University of Glasgow awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science to Derek Doyle, one of the pioneers of modern palliative care, in July 2014.  Since then Dr Doyle has been a popular and regular contributor to our blog. Here he blogs about the origins of palliative medicine as a specialty. Some readers may… Continue reading

Founding the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland – by Derek Doyle

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Derek Doyle 9 July 2014

The 1970s and 1980s saw palliative care services starting all over Britain – hospices and NHS ‘continuing care units’, day units, home care services, hospital consultation services, ‘hospice at home’. Those were undeniably exciting times but they brought many problems and challenges. Where were the trained staff? There were no plans or policies in place… Continue reading