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Dignity in Dying rejects criticism of its name change – critics are against patient choice (Jan 23)

23 January 2006

Dignity in Dying rejects criticism of its name change

Critics are against patient choice

Dignity in Dying (UK) has rejected criticism of its name change. A small group of anti-choice campaigners has written to trade Minister Alan Johnson to oppose its registration of the trade mark for ‘Dignity in Dying’. Dignity in Dying’s Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said,

“We campaign to put the patient first. Our new name reflects that. 82 per cent of the public support patient choice, they realise that dignity is a personal matter. The criticism of our new name comes from those who don’t want terminally ill people to have any sort of choice at the end of life and believe patients should die as they are told to. This attitude is no longer acceptable.”

Access to palliative care has increased in Oregon, where assisted dying is legal, and doctors say patients feel much more in control as to how and when they die as a result of the legislation. Communication between doctors and patients has also improved.

Dignity in Dying has over 100,000 members and supporters and the new name was today welcomed by Parliamentarians including Dr Evan Harris MP, Baroness Sally Greengross, and Crispin Blunt MP.

Zoe Wanamaker, Brian Pretty and Rev Professor Paul Badham are among the new patrons announced today. It has also received the blessing of Win Crew, the widow of Reg Crew who travelled to Switzerland for an assisted death three years ago this weekend.