Realizing a vision (1959–1967)
This chapter focuses on Cicely Saunders's conception of a new method that would change the clinical field, particularly care for the dying worldwide. In the summer of 1957, before she acquired her qualifications in medicine, Saunders wrote her first publication, which centred on a new approach to the care of dying people. In her paper, her intention of providing approaches that would centre on caring for dying became prevalent. Saunders' 1958 paper took note of the seeming desertion by the doctors of their patients, leaving them to cope with the remaining days of their lives in isolation. She reiterated that doctors should remain the head of a team that continually works to relieve what cannot be healed, to maintain the patient's struggles within their priorities and to bring hope and consolidation to the very end. Although the British National Health Service was driven by the aim to give services from ‘cradle to grave’, little attention was given to dying people. Saunders was one of the few clinicians who took considerable interest in the welfare of the dying. Her encounter with David Tasma and her experience at St. Joseph's helped her create her methods for hospice care and to establish the St. Christopher's Hospice. With a single goal of creating the first modern hospice, Saunders set a social train that would change the perception of caring for dying throughout the world.
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