About Us:

The campaign for a right-to-die has reached a turning point. Over 90% of the public now approve of assisted dying, in at least some circumstances. For some time now, doctors and nurses have watched with increasing despair, as the interests of their patients were sidelined and attempts to reform assisted dying faltered. All too often they have watched as debates about the right-to-die were confused by misinformation and myth. My Death, My Decision Medical Group believes it is now necessary for the voices of strongly pro-choice doctors and nurses to be heard.  Many of our supporters joined because they wanted to help provide a voice for those clinicians, and the balanced medical perspective that this debate has lacked.

“Decades ago I took out life membership of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (VES) because I wished to escape from dementia and other chronic disabling conditions if I developed one or more of them. After VES became Dignity in Dying (DiD), DiD decided to restrict its campaigning to a call to legalise assistance in dying to people with a life expectancy of a few months.  This policy change thereby excluded assistance for people with the kind of chronic disabling conditions that had prompted my life membership of VES. I am glad that My Death My Decision is now campaigning for the original objectives of the VES.”

Sir Iain Chalmers

Sir Iain Chalmers is a renowned medical researcher and founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, the first global evidenced based research network in medicine. He is the acting coordinator of the James Lind Initiative and received the British Medical Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

“I often joke that my most precious possession, which I prize above all my tools and books, and the pictures and antiques that I inherited from my family, is my suicide kit, which I keep hidden at home. It consists of a few drugs that I have managed to acquire over the years”. [And first on the list of his reasons for taking it out of its hiding place would be] “The early signs of dementia”.

Henry Marsh

Dr Henry Marsh CBE, is a leading neurosurgeon and best selling author of “Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery” and “Admissions: A life in brain surgery”, which became a number 1 Sunday Times best seller. His work has been the subject of two major BBC documentaries – “Your Life in their Hands” in 2003 and “The English Surgeon” in 2009 which won an Emmy. Until 2015 he served as the senior consultant at St George’s Hospital, working within the UK’s leading brain surgery unit.

“Medicine has moved a long way since I qualified in 1960 and today we accept the principle of patient autonomy yet the law denies us the right to make our own decisions about how and when we die. As one ages, the absence of this human right becomes more pressing and it is time to make the case clearly. We should state what we want unconstrained by the political practicalities, so that everyone is clear what we want.”

Photo Credit: Matt Saywell

Wendy Savage

Professor Wendy Savage is a British gynecologist and long standing campaigner for women’s rights in childbirth and fertility. She is an accomplished writer having published the highly successful “Birth and Power”, has previously served as a member of the General Medical Council and British Medical Association’s Ethics Committee, and has received the British Medical Journal’s award for an Outstanding Contribution to Health.

“As doctors, we are privileged to have knowledge and access to medication that enables us to end our lives in a civilised way if faced with a miserable, painful, prolonged or undignified death. It is a great reassurance and I have always thought that legislation should allow our patients to have the same peace of mind. As Nietzsche said: ‘The thought of suicide is a great comfort and with its aid I have got through many a bad night’.”

Colin Brewer

Colin Brewer MB.MRCS.DPM, formerly directed the Westminster Hospital’s alcoholism unit and the Stapleford Centre. In 2015 he co-published the book “I’ll See Myself Out, Thank You”, in which he admitted to conducting mental capacity assessments for six British citizens hoping to end their life in Switzerland. His forthcoming book “Let Me Not Get Alzheimer’s Sweet Heaven”, to be published later this year, explores the dilemma of dementia and assisted dying. He has previously served as a committee member for the Voluntary Euthanasia Society (now Dignity in Dying), and currently acts as the associate campaigns director for My Death, My Decision.

“Like James Joyce’s alter ego, Stephen Dedalus, I was sold to Rome before I was born and educated at what are now called ‘faith schools’. I remain grateful to the Jesuits who taught me how to think but am less enthusiastic about some of the things  they wanted me to learn… in particular ‘truths’ supported not by evidence but by a faith I was told I could acquire by praying for it. Many of my friends seemed to master the skill of purposeful praying but I could never get the knack and  mention it only because medical discussion of assisted dying too often lapses into a ventilation of strongly held beliefs. I suggest it’s time we moved on. I support My Death, My Decision Medical Group because I want us to respond rationally and humanely to those who ask for help when, well aware of what they’re doing, they make daunting decisions about their future. We need to change our profession’s party line on assisted dying. As someone who can no longer toe the line,  I draw comfort from Thomas Jefferson: ‘I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself… If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

Dr Michael O’Donnell

Michael O’Donnell was a GP for twelve years and for sixteen was Editor of World Medicine. A BMJ editorial claimed, ‘Not to have read Michael O’Donnell’s World Medicine was to have been incomplete as a doctor.’ In 1971 he started the campaign for GMC reform that led to the Merrison Enquiry and a new Medical Act and for the next 25 years came top of the poll at each election of  GMC members, In the 1980s he wrote and presented the BBC Television series O’Donnell Investigates… and two ITV Tuesday Documentaries: one investigating teen-age suicide, the other reviewing the latest advances in neuroscience. On Radio 4 he wrote and presented the award-winning series Relative Values, was a regular chatterer on Stop the Week with Robert Robinson and was the last  chairman of My Word with Frank Muir and Denis Norden. He has published two novels and six books about medicine and in 2007 the Medical Journalists’ Association awarded him its first ever Lifetime Achievement Award.