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Cicely Saunders

Dame Cicely Mary Saunders

Dame Cicely Saunders
Born22 June 1918(1918-06-22)
Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
Died14 July 2005 (aged 87)
Professionnurse, physician, writer
InstitutionsSt. Christopher's Hospice
Specialism Palliative care
Known forThe hospice movement
Notable prizesDBE
Member of the Order of Merit

Dame Cicely Mary Saunders, OM, DBE (June 22 1918 in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England – July 14 2005 at St Christopher's Hospice, South London, England) was a prominent Anglican nurse, physician and writer, involved with many international universities.

Additional recommended knowledge

She is best known for her role in the birth of the hospice movement, emphasizing the importance of palliative care in modern medicine.

St. Christopher's Hospice, the world's first purpose-built hospice, in 1967. The hospice was founded on the principles of combining expert pain and symptom relief with holistic care to meet the physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs of its patients and those of their family and friends.

She also succeeded in engaging the support of Albertine Winner, the deputy chief medical officer at the Ministry of Health at the time. Later, Dame Albertine Winner would become chairwoman of St. Christopher's.

In 1965 Saunders was made an Officer of the British Empire. In 1979 she was further elevated by knighthood to DBE and became known as Dame Cicely Saunders. In 1981 Dame Cicely was awarded the Templeton Prize, the world's richest annual prize awarded to an individual.

In 1989 Dame Cicely was appointed to the Order of Merit by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2001 she received the world's largest humanitarian award - the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, worth £700,000 - on behalf of St Christopher's. On April 25, 2005, another ([1]) portrait of her was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery.

She was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

She died of cancer at the age of 87 in 2005, at the hospice she herself had founded.

Dame Cicely was one of the subjects of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's book: Courage: Eight Portraits.

Titles and honours

Shorthand titles

  • Miss Cicely Saunders (June 22 1918 – January 1 1965)
  • Miss Cicely Saunders, OBE (January 1 1965 – December 31 1979)
  • Dame Cicely Saunders, DBE (December 31 1979 – November 30 1989)
  • Dame Cicely Saunders, OM, DBE (November 30 1989 – July 14 2005)


  • Dame Commander of the British Empire (elevated from Officer)
  • Member of the Order of Merit
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cicely_Saunders". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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