hospice, program of humane and supportive care for the terminally ill and their families; the term also applies to a professional facility that provides care to dying patients who can no longer be cared for at home. Hospice is an alternative to hospitalization in which the focus is on maintaining the quality of life as much as is possible. It typically emphasizes home care for as long as possible; relief from pain; an attractive, noninstitutional environment if the patient can no longer be cared for at home; and personal and family counseling. The hospice movement was pioneered by Dr. Cicely Saunders, founder of St. Christopher's Hospice (opened 1967), London, and furthered by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's work with the dying.
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