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Dignity in Dying Patron shortlisted for prestigious Radio Award

Dignity in Dying Patron Heather Pratten has been shortlisted for the 2011 Sandford St Martins Radio Award for religious broadcasting. In BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Choice’, presented by Michael Buerk, Heather shared her experiences of losing her first husband and two sons to Huntingdon’s Disease. She was charged for assisting in her son Nigel’s death in October 2000.

On receiving the nomination and invitation to attend the awards ceremony, Heather said:

“I am astonished. But really the credit should go to the producer, Dawn Bryan – she did a tremendous job in researching the issue and my story, and in editing my interview. It was a very well-made piece.”

In October 2000 Heather was charged for assisting and abetting her son Nigel’s suicide but was later given a non-custodial sentence due to ‘exceptional circumstances’. Judge Graham Boal said that Heather’s story was one “that would move the hardest of hearts”.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, said:

“Heather is far too modest – congratulations must be given to her on this well-deserved nomination. We are delighted that her hard work in promoting the issue of assisted dying, by telling her moving personal story, has been recognised. Dignity in Dying is honoured to have Heather as a Patron, and we wish her every success at the awards.”



  • The Final 2011 Radio Shortlist, 15 nominees, The Choice – Heather Pratten – Entry No 29 Broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on 12 August 2010. Producers Dawn Bryan and Amanda Hancox. Presented by Michael Buerk.

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 has over 25,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.
  • The British Social Attitudes Survey 2010 found that 92% of non-religious and 71% of religious people support assisted dying. This relates to overall support of 82%.

Media Contacts:
For all Dignity in Dying media enquiries, please contact Jo Cartwright on 020 7479 7737/ 07725433025 or at