Lessons in living from the dying: Pioneer in palliative care to visit McGill
Dame Cicely Saunders, a pioneer in palliative care, will visit McGill to deliver a Beatty Memorial Lecture entitled "Lessons in living from the dying."
"Neither patients, families nor staff are protected from sadness, but in sharing it as they do, they find that living and dying well are linked together and are constantly opening up new and creative possibilities." So says Dame Cicely Saunders, internationally renowned medical pioneer who will visit McGill next week to deliver the second Beatty Memorial Lecture of this fall, "Lessons in Living from the Dying," and to receive an honorary degree from the University. Founder of the hospice movement and advocate of a radically new approach to care of the dying, Dame Cicely Saunders, OM, DBE, FRCP, will speak at McGill on Tuesday, October 28, 1997, at 6 p.m. in the Fieldhouse Auditorium (Leacock Building Room 132), downtown campus. Admission is free and no tickets are required. This particular Beatty Lecture is a joint initiative of the Beatty Memorial Lectures Series and the Council on Palliative Care, with the Division of Palliative Care, Department of Oncology, McGill.
Later in the week, on October 30, Dame Cicely Saunders will be honoured at Convocation in the presence of Canadas Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, who will also be awarded an honorary degree at Place des Arts.
According to Dr. Balfour Mount, Director, Palliative Care McGill, and holder of the Eric M. Flanders chair in palliative medicine, "Worldwide neglect of the dying has led to high levels of unnecessary suffering for those who are ill and for their families." The work of Dame Cicely Saunders in Britain, where she opened the revolutionary St. Christophers Hospice in 1967, has led to the recognition of a new specialty, Palliative Medicine. "McGill University, because of its unparalleled record of support for palliative care and its own role in introducing hospice care into university teaching hospitals, has a very special relationship with Dame Cicely Saunders," notes Dr. Mount, who describes the distinguished physician as a truly remarkable person who combines a "keen analytical mind with an unusual capacity for critical listening, unstoppable determination, confidence rooted in conviction and infectious dedication."
Cicely Saunders trained first as a nurse, then as a social worker. She later returned to studies, at St. Thomass Hospital in London, to pursue medicine. Her interest in the compassionate care of the dying dates back more than 50 years and in that time, she has written about, promoted and actively contributed to palliative care worldwide.