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Local woman brings assisted dying campaign to Leeds

A West Yorkshire woman is throwing her weight behind the campaign for assisted dying and urging people across Leeds and beyond to join her.

Niccola Swan, 58 from Burley-in-Wharfdale, 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 Saturday 29th April at 1pm at the Oxford Place Centre and anyone is welcome to attend.

Niccola, 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. Their first meeting with include a keynote speech from Chief Executive Sarah Wootton and the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for campaigning in the local area.

Niccola, a member and trustee of Dignity in Dying, lost a close friend to cancer and has been passionate about the issue ever since:

“About 27 years ago I had a very close friend with cancer who died aged 40. He died in a hospice, begging in the days before for his life to be ended because the pain was unbearable. I know his pain relief was not sufficient and it was not a good ending for him.

“This was a major influence on my thinking about the campaign for assisted dying. I have been a member of Dignity in Dying for many years and campaign for everyone to have this choice and control at the end of their life.”

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. The organisation is currently supporting the Noel Conway vs Ministry of Justice case, in which Noel, a 67-year-old man with terminal motor neurone disease, is challenging the blanket ban on assisted dying in the UK.

Noel said:

“I know I am going to die, but how and when should be up to me. To have the option of an assisted death available in this country would provide me and countless others with great reassurance and comfort. It would allow me to decide when I am ready to go, rather than be forced into a premature death by travelling to Dignitas at great emotional and financial cost, or to suffer a traumatic, drawn out death at home.”

Dignity in Dying currently has 26 local groups around the country, of which Leeds is one of the newest, covering around 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.

When: Saturday 29th April, 1pm-3pm
Where: Oxford Place Centre, Oxford Place, Leeds LS1 3AU (just off the Headrow, opposite the Town Hall and next door to Leeds Art Gallery)
RSVP: Register your interest on the Eventbrite website.


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.