Cicely Saunders is universally acclaimed as a pioneer of modern hospice care. Trained initially in nursing and social work, she qualified in medicine in 1958 and subsequently dedicated the whole of her professional life to improving the care of the dying and bereaved people. Founding St Christopher's Hospice in London in 1967, she encouraged a radical new approach to end of life care combining attention to physical, social, emotional and spiritual problems, brilliantly captured in her concept of 'total pain'. Her ideas about clinical care, education and research have been hugely influential, leading to numerous prizes and awards in recognition of her humanitarian achievements. In this book the sociologist and historian David Clark presents a selection of her vast correspondence, together with his own commentary. The letters of Cicely Saunders tell a remarkable story of vision, determination and creativity. They should be read by anyone interested in how we die in the modern world.
David Clark is the author and editor of many books and papers and has written widely on sociological aspects of religion, family life and end of life care. His more recent interests include the history of hospice, palliative care and pain medicine; policy issues in the international development of palliative care; and related ethical questions. He is currently writing a major work on the global history of hospice and palliative care.