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Death in Sydenham

Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement, has dedicated her life to preparing people for death. Kate Kellaway has a chat with her about the best way to go

By Kate Kellaway   82

Book: Selected letters, 1959-1999 Author: Cicely Saunders Price: (Oxford University Press, ?39.95)

When Dame Cicely Saunders talks about death it is as if she had died many times herself, without ill effect. Her tone is of a well-travelled person, comfortable with her subject, who can tell us what to pack, what to say and how to prepare for another country.

She is an old-fashioned missionary. Her founding of St Christopher’s hospice in 1967 was an act of faith in God-and in herself. She is now credited with launching the modern hospice movement. But she has never been a swaggering Christian.…

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