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Campaign coming to South East London

An Eltham woman is throwing her weight behind the campaign for assisted dying and urging people across South East London to join her.

Patricia Somerset, 72, is encouraging local people to join a new group in support of a campaign to allow terminally ill people to die with dignity. The group meets for the first time on Thursday 27th April at 6:30pm at Community Association of New Eltham (New Eltham Library) and anyone is welcome to attend.

Patricia, along with a group of local people, is supporting Dignity in Dying in calling for assisted dying to be legalised so that terminally ill people are given choice and control over their death. The group’s first meeting will involve hearing from a representative of Dignity in Dying and brainstorming ideas for campaigning in the local area.

Patricia, originally from North Wales, has lived across London over the years and has worked for a range of charities supporting vulnerable people. Explaining why she felt compelled to start this new group.

Patricia said:

“The message for local people is that these issues potentially affect everyone – the families as well as the individuals suffering. The pain of seeing a loved one suffering without any hope of improvement, I believe, can be much worse than supporting them if their choice is to die.

“But at the moment to carry out that choice safely means going abroad. This often also means dying sooner than necessary, having enough money to do it and dying in a strange place, far away from home. Those of us who are healthy and have no-one in the family facing this choice should not turn our backs on those who need our support to get the law changed. We must do our bit to ensure that if a terminally ill person chooses to have an assisted death, they can do so in a medically safe way and ideally at home, with family.”

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, legal assisted death. There are 26 local groups around the country, covering over 100 constituencies across the UK. The largest ever poll on assisted dying found that 82% of the public were in support of a change in the law.

Fran Hall, Campaigner Support Officer at Dignity in Dying, said:

“We believe that everyone has the right to die with dignity and have choice and control at the end of life, but sadly this is not the case for terminally ill people in this country. If you agree that this is unacceptable, please join us and come along to our first local meeting on the 27th – anyone is welcome.”

When: Thursday 27th April at 6:15 for a 6:30pm start
Where: Community Association of New Eltham (CANE), New Eltham Library building, Southwood Road, London SE9 3QT
RSVP: For more information or to RSVP please contact


For more information please contact Ellie Ball, Media and Campaigns Officer at Dignity in Dying at or 0207 479 7732.

Notes to Editor
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.