Homes for the dying: the history of the development of modern hospices

This portrayal of the first modern hospices, established in late Victorian Great Britain, describes the philosophy of that day and the problems faced by these institutions. It looks both at the founding of St. Christopher's Hospice, landmark of the birth of the modern hospice movement, and at the continued development of this movement down through today. The movement emerged at a time of growing appreciation for technology, outside the priorities of the British healthcare system, and during a period of major changes in Western societies. The article also describes how Brazil's first hospice came into being in Rio de Janeiro in 1944. It concludes with a current overview of the modern hospice movement in Brazil, along with thoughts on the challenges of how hospices fit within the healthcare system.

palliative care; attitude towards death; history; end-of-life care

Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Av. Brasil, 4365 - Prédio do Relógio, 21040-900 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 3865-2208/2195/2196 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil