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.
A. C. Grayling is the Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, and its Professor of Philosophy, and the author of over thirty books of philosophy, biography, history of ideas, and essays. He is a columnist for Prospect magazine, and was for a number of years a columnist for the Guardian and Times. He has also contributed to many leading newspapers in the UK, US and Australia, and to BBC radios 4, 3, 2 and the World Service, for which he did the annual ‘Exchanges at the Frontier’ series; and he has often appeared on television. He has judged the Booker Prize, in 2015 serving as the Chair of the judging panel. He is a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Dr Phil Hammond is a physician, broadcaster, comedian and commentator, best known for his regular column in Private Eye and appearances in the hit BBC television show Have I Got News For You, BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz, and BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show. Dr Hammond worked as a lecturer at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham, before going on to write ‘This Has All Been Said Before’; ‘Trust Me (I’m a Doctor)’, and ‘Trust Me, I’m (Still) a Doctor’. He served as the Vice President of the Patients Association.
Rosie Harper graduated from Birmingham University, followed by post-graduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Further studies included an MA in Philosophy and Religion, She is now Vicar of Great Missenden (where her professional singing career experience helps boost the choir) and Chaplain to the Bishop of Buckingham. She is chair of the Oxford Nandyal Education Foundation, an education charity in rural India. A member of General Synod, Rosie writes for the Guardian, broadcasts regularly, and was a panel member for Any Questions. She is deeply committed to working for issues of justice and equality within and beyond the church, and is one of very few serving Anglican Priests to campaign for a change in the law on Assisted Dying.
Virginia Ironside has been a journalist and writer all her life, working mainly as an agony aunt for Woman magazines, the Sunday Mirror, the Independent, and The Oldie. She has also performed her own one-woman show, Growing Old Disgracefully, for the last ten years. Her twenty books include Chelsea Bird and a series starting with No, I Don’t Want to Join a Bookclub, the diary of a sixty-year-old granny.
Michael Irwin is a former GP and Medical Director of the United Nations. He held the post of Vice Chairman/ Chairman of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society from 1995-2003, (now renamed Dignity in Dying). He was a founder member of the Society for Old Age Rational Suicide (SOARS) and served as its Coordinator from 2009-2015, (a precursor to My Death, My Decision).
In July 2019, campaigner Paul Lamb issued proceedings in the High Court for judicial review of the UK’s law on assisted dying. Paul, 63, was severely injured in a car accident in 1990 and has no function below his neck, apart from limited movement in his right hand. He requires around the clock care and is in constant pain. Paul explains that his motivation for legal action is to achieve something for the benefit of the many people who face similarly challenging circumstances. Since his case failed in 2020, Paul has committed to bringing about change through Parliament.
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 bestseller. 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.
The actor Miriam Margolyes, OBE, is known for many and varied roles, such as in Call the Midwife, Romeo + Juliet, Blackadder, and the Harry Potter films. She has appeared in nearly 175 feature films, TV Programmes and Theatre Productions. Miriam received the Best Supporting Actress award at the 1989 LA Critics Circle Awards for her role in Little Dorrit and BAFTA Best Supporting Actress award in 1993 for The Age of Innocence. Recent acclaim for Miriam came for the two-part BBC documentary Miriam’s Dead Good Adventure (2019), in which she looks at different approaches and attitudes to dealing with death.
David Nutt is the Edmond J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London and Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences. He is currently Chair of Drug Science (formally the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD)) and President of the European Brain Council. He previously advised the Ministry of Defence, Department of Health and Home Office on the safety of medicines.
Martin Rees has been Astronomer Royal since 1995. Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 2004-12. President of Royal Society 2005-10. Crossbencher in the House of Lords since 2005.
Kathleen Richardson was the first female President of the Methodist Conference 1992-93. She retired from the House of Lords at the end of 2018 having served as a crossbencher for 20 years. In 2015 in a Science Meets Faith meeting she spoke openly about a Christian case for assisted dying.
Professor Wendy Savage is a British gynaecologist and long standing campaigner for women’s rights in childbirth and fertility. She is an accomplished author having published the highly successful “Birth and Power”. She 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.
Adam Kay is a multi-award-winning author, comedian and former doctor. This is Going to Hurt has sold over 2.5 million copies, been translated into 37 languages, and is the bestselling narrative non- fiction title of the decade, spending over a year at number one in the Sunday Times bestseller chart. It is soon to be a major comedy-drama for BBC/AMC starring Ben Whishaw. His follow-up, Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas, sold over 500,000 copies in the last three months of 2019, and his recent anthology Dear NHS was an instant Sunday Times number one, raising over £250,000 for charity. His first children’s book Kay’s Anatomy: A Complete (and Completely Disgusting) Guide to the Human Body is published by Puffin.