Donald Lehr / (212) 967-8200
Templeton Prize Laureate Dame Cicely Saunders Dies
May 12, 1981
The John Templeton Foundation mourns the passing of 1981 Templeton Prize Laureate Dame Cicely Saunders, 87, widely regarded as the mother of the modern hospice movement. Dame Cicely died of cancer on July 14 at St. Christopher’s Hospice, Sydenham, south London, the renowned center she founded in 1967.
At the Templeton Prize public ceremony at the Guildhall in London on May 12, 1981, Dame Cicely was described as “the woman who has changed the face of death.”
In her remarks that day, she recalled her thoughts some 15 years earlier as she planned for the opening of St. Christopher’s:
We had to learn to ask some new questions… ‘Why has this patient got this pain or other physical symptom?’ ‘What can I do about it when there is no longer any cure for the underlying disease?’ ‘Why is this family reacting as it is and how can they be helped to use the time left to resolve their problems?’ ‘How do we ease the pain of parting so that even that has within it the seeds of new growth?’
The challenge was to establish a new hospice as a religious and medical foundation bringing together science and the spiritual dimension.”
for a detailed obituary.