Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Great Idea of Which Dame Cicely Would Be Proud

Charles Colson's Breakpoint commentary today dealt with perinatal hospice, a growing development in the hospice movement that I find especially intriguing. Basically, perinatal hospice helps those parents who are informed that their pre-born child is terminally ill as they carry their children to term and a natural death rather than terminating the pregnancy via abortion.

It's a wonderful idea, of which I am confident Dame Cicely Saunders, a committed Anglican, nurse, social worker, and physician who founded St. Christopher's Hospice in 1967 and in so doing launched the modern hospice movement, would be proud. At the perinatal hospice site, a quote from Dame Cicely is cited: "You matter because you are you, and you matter until the last moment of your life.” A wonderful truth that is just as applicable to the pre-born as it is the elderly!

Upon looking around the perinatal hospice site, I was delighted to see that there is a program right here in the Charleston area! I have already made contact with a friend who's on the board of the sponsoring organization to see how I can support them in that most worthy goal.

Since 2002 my ministry has centered around hospice chaplaincy and in the ensuing years I've seen many people cared for at the end of their life and been privileged to have a part in that care. It is encouraging to see this outgrowth of the movement that Dame Cicely started over 40 years ago.

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