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Cassidy, Sheila (1937–)

Cassidy, Sheila (1937–)

English physician and religious author. Name variations: Dr. Sheila Cassidy. Born Sheila Anne Cassidy, 1937, in Lincolnshire, England; dau. of John Reginal Cassidy (Air Vice Marshall who played central role in British telecommunications during WWII); Somerville College, Oxford University, MD.

Immigrated with family to chicken farm in Australia (1949); studied medicine in Sydney then returned to England (1957); qualified as a surgeon at Oxford; went to work in Chile (1971); after bloody overthrow of Salvador Allende by Augusto Pinochet (1973), was arrested by Pinochet police after granting priest's request to treat a wounded guerrilla fighter (1975); returned to England and related experiences of torture and imprisonment in The Audacity to Believe (1977); became medical director of St. Luke's Hospice in Plymouth (1982) and then a palliative care physician at Plymouth General Hospital (1993); lectures widely on spirituality and human rights and has written several books on prayer and on the care of suffering and bereaved individuals, including award-winning Good Friday People (1991) and Sharing the Darkness: The Spirituality of Caring (1992); founded Jeremiah's Journey, a program for helping bereaved children (1996).

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