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In brief: Hospice and palliative care share subtle differences, growing acceptance

January 8, 2021

The practice of hospice care can be traced to the 11th century and has religious roots connected with the Crusades. Palliative care’s roots are less than a century old, dating back to the work of a British physician, Dame Cicely Saunders, who founded the first formal hospice in 1948 with a commitment to also improving the quality of life for non-terminal patients suffering from life-limiting illnesses or serious injuries, according to the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute. The World Health Organization formally recognized palliative care as a distinct specialty in 1990.

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