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.
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 () portrait of her was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery.
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
- 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)
- BBC obituary
- Guardian obituary
- A personal therapeutic journey, Cicely Saunders British Medical Journal 1996
- Cicely Saunders Foundation
- BBC Woman's Hour interview and history, broadcast 17th August 2001
- St Christopher's Hospice