Recognizing Excellence in Hospice During Women's History Month
How Dame Cicely Saunders Revolutionized Hospice Care
Snowline celebrates March as National Women's History Month! We take this month to recognize the accomplishments of women who advanced the field of hospice care in the face of adversity. Today, we acknowledge "The Mother" of Hospice, Cicely Saunders. Dame Cicely Saunders is known for founding the first modern hospice and, more than anybody else, was responsible for establishing the discipline and palliative care culture. She introduced effective pain management and insisted that dying people needed dignity, compassion, respect, and rigorous scientific methodology in testing treatments. Saunders introduced the idea of "total pain," which included the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of distress. Saunders knew she could best help dying patients by becoming a doctor, and at age 33, she qualified to become a medical student at St Thomas' Hospital.