A Bath woman has been recognised for her efforts in raising awareness for the campaign for assisted dying. Pauline Carroll, 66, from Bathwick, is the first person to be awarded with the Romey Brown Memorial Prize – which is presented to individuals for outstanding and inspirational campaigning.
Having spent many years as a district nurse, Pauline felt compelled to join the campaign after having witnessed the suffering and pain of a number of terminally ill people. Pauline began campaigning in 2000, and in 2014 formed the Bath and Bristol branch of Dignity in Dying – which is now one of the most active of the 27 local groups across the country.
The award – which is being presented for the first time this year – is being given in memory of Dignity in Dying Patron, Rosemary “Romey” Brown OBE, who sadly passed away in March 2017. Romey was a supporter and campaigner alongside her husband, Peter Brown, for over 20 years. Romey firmly believed that the law one assisted dying needed to change, her passion for this and commitment to the campaign were inspirational. Peter remains to be a supporter of the campaign.
As lead campaigner for the Bath and Bristol group, Pauline dedicates time to the campaign persuading MPs, finding local supportive clergy and disabled people, raising public awareness, fundraising for the campaign – plus much more.
“None of us became involved in the Dignity in Dying campaign to win awards, but I am truly humbled and grateful to receive this recognition.
“I continue to try to make those who oppose us understand that if they had actually been close to those who are terminally ill, and enduring an unavoidable yet painful and undignified death, who had requested a quicker end – they would think again.
“I must thank everyone for their work – it matters so much to me that we see this cause through to its necessary conclusion, and I’m accepting this honour not just for me, but for all my colleagues in the Bath and Bristol group.
“The silenced voices of our terminally ill who find their suffering unbearable will finally be heard – thank you Noel Conway.”
Dignity in Dying campaigns for a change in the law to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults with less than six months to live to have the option of a safe, legally assisted death, and is currently supporting the Noel Conway vs Ministry of Justice case. Noel, a 67-year-old man with terminal motor neurone disease, is challenging the blanket ban on assisted dying in the UK and his case is being heard at the High Court in London this week (17th-21st July 2017).
Fran Hall, Campaigner Support Officer at Dignity in Dying, said:
“Pauline is a definitive self-starter and fierce debater, who seizes any opportunity to further the cause of the campaign. She’s taken local MPs head on, spoken to the local clinical commissioning group, a local hospice and encouraged her GP to support the campaign.
“We are very grateful to Pauline for her dedication to the cause and all that she’s done to raise awareness in Bath & Bristol.”
To get involved with the local campaign for assisted dying in Bath and Bristol, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, photos and interviews, please contact email@example.com / 07725 433 025
Notes to Editor
About Dignity in Dying
Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.
Dignity in Dying is currently supporting Noel Conway, a man with terminal motor neurone disease who has launched a legal challenge to the current blanket ban on assisted dying. He fears that without a change in the law he may be forced to suffer against his wishes. Noel is bringing this case against the Ministry of Justice to fight for his right to have the option of an assisted death when he is in his final six months of life.
For more information, visit www.dignityindying.org.uk